LOVE 21 Foundation is the charity that The BOOK JAR Company supports! All of our profits go to this amazing charity that helps children with Down Syndrome and Autism through nutrition and exercise. At The BOOK JAR Co we wanted to do something different. We write, design and create things that we love and fully enjoy our work, but we wanted to take that passion a step further and help others. So we decided to support a charity with our profits. LOVE 21 offer children football, yoga, hiking & dance programs while trying to help them transform their eating habits into healthier ones. Here's just a few of my favourite photos from this wonderful charity!
She is only 6, but has an imagination that reaches for the stars! She's very tall for her age, but owns her look with ease. She's my muSe. My GiRL.
Together we spent the summer eating, looking and journaling our way through smaller towns in Holland. With matching jumpers, comfy scarves and our hats, we explored in our twinning style. She has always loved to draw, but this was her first summer to begin writing. Loving the way she tells stories, I suggested we both keep a summer journal with sketches and stories. As we journaled our way through the summer, some of my favourite moments were simply sitting, relaxing and writing together. She is #my girl.
I began to sketch a new character. It started with an edgy bob hair cut, with longer bangs hanging to one side, covering one eye. The open mouth lips that always have something to say, and the faint indication of freckles on her cheeks. Her favourite dress that once hung below her knees, and now rested just below her tush. She is my GiRL, and suddenly there she was on paper.....
Explore My GiRL and all her journals, cards and accessories in the wUnderFUN series!
Some stories don't always begin where we think and TBJ for sure is one of those. It was my husbands dream to be a writer and have his own publishing company. He has been a teacher for over 15 years and knows how to work and interact really well with children. He began to write stories one day as we were traveling on a flight. The stories came to him with ease as he found himself quickly lost in the plot until the end of each one.
I did not jump on board this uncharted territory with the same ease until I met Lila Moore in The Secret Flyers Club. At the time, I was a full time Architect with little interest in a publishing house. I found myself so taken by the character that I began to draw and sketch her almost immediately. I envisioned what she looked like and how she dressed. I began to imagine each page and painted the plot in watercolour with such enjoyable ease. But Lila Moore didn't actually begin from my husband. When our daughter was 3 years old, she drew her first idea of what a girl looked like through her eyes. This not only went straight into a frame, but became the footprint for our first character.
Now we have three full series, The Secret Flyers Club, The Phenella Adventures and wUnderFUN. Each one invites creative thinking and reaches out to the kid in all of us. It's been a few years since the first words and sketches found themselves on paper. Surprisingly, I've come full circle am and so passionate out TBJ. I closed my Architecture firm and have fully jumped into this uncharted territory of the publishing world.
In hopes of doing something bigger than us, we decided to donate all out profits to the LOVE 21 Foundation. This is a local charity in Hong Kong also trying to make big waves. They help children with Down Syndrome offering exercise & nutrition programs as well as family counselling.
I'm not a writer so much myself, but I'm hoping to make this blog a weekly sharing venture. I'll leave you now with a photo of my little journaling kiddo!
Have a great week!
In creating wUnderFUn the best part was the organic nature of how it all came to be. wUnderFUn is a story, but a different kind of story. It is a kit of parts that began in black and white and transformed into beautiful colors. In this series there are journals, cards, crowns and pockets that all go together with the character My GiRL. She loves to travel and collect things in her pocket, writing down what she sees along the way.
wUnderFUN began with a crown. A crown that needed a story, a name. The crowns are hand woven of the softest baby cashmere merino silk yarn one could ever imagine. Not just an accessory, but a treasure with a love for travel and seeing the world. As the crown traveled, it realised that it was actually upside down. It started to see all the beauty of the world in vibrant colors. The crown found itself upright and no longer white, but of beautiful colors that reflected those around it in the world.
A big part of developing wUnderFUn was being still and observing what was right there in front of me. I watched my daughter traveling around Europe this summer looking at all the vibrancy of the world and realised it mimicked how I envisioned The Crown That Was Once Upside Down. I started to see a character before me. One with bangs in her eyes, the ever faint sign of freckles on her cheeks, tall for her size, who loved to draw and write and put secret things into her pockets. She came to life on paper as My GiRL. I continued to watch as my daughter wrote and drew her way around Paris, Belgium and Holland capturing things I hadn't even noticed. Writing her own short stories each day of her imaginary pets and their idiosyncrasies. I knew I wanted a series of blank books for children just starting to enjoy this phase of life. Thus the My GiRL journals came to be.
I've always been a fan of snail mail. I can count on one hand the number of people I still write with proper letters. It's sadly less than 5. I loved getting real mail as a child and even still now as an adult. This is something that my daughter now also loves to do. She makes the card herself, adds little things to go inside and even makes her own envelopes. It is my hope that the My GiRL cards will inspire kids and friends, both old and young, to reach out with a card and connect the old school way. I love the process of making. All of our MY GiRL books and cards are handmade, even the envelopes!
Stepping back, I was feeling quite good about this new collection wUnderFUN, but I felt there was still something missing. The idea of little pockets with secret things lingered in my mind. It just seemed like it wanted to be part of the wUnderFUN story too. Thus the wUnderFUn Pocket Crowns were designed. Inspired by the wUnderFUN poem, the pockets are still upside down crowns exploring the world whilst collecting little secret things. Each pocket is hand made with super soft sheepskin and love.
I am a maker, a designer, a creative thinker. I hope wUnderFUN inspires imaginative, creative thinking, journal keeping, tale writing, snail mailing, and wild dancing while sporting a Crown That Was Once Upside Down.