February is for firsts.

Posted on February 02, 2016 by Erin Kelly-Dill | 0 comments

It's only the second day of February, and I've already had two firsts! Kelly & Co. has its first ad running on a wonderful blog called Eating From the Ground Up,  which you can check out here:

And there's a bag giveaway happening on Instagram, which you can check out here: @gokellyandco

 So, just a short post this week, but more news/thoughts/etc. coming soon:)







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The thing worth doing.

Posted on January 20, 2016 by Erin Kelly-Dill | 1 comment

Today I tidied for a while, folding and stacking linen cloth of various sizes by color and weight, harmonizing the multi-shelf chaos that had been causing me to wring my hands and generally feel like a bad person.
I'd been meaning to do it for ages, to restrain the lawless, random bits and pieces that had laid seige to my shelves, making me paw and dig to find what I needed on any given day. 
Now, sometime "tidying" for me is actually procrastinating, but not today. This was well worth doing, and my brain feels lighter and better for having done it. And the shelves look great too!
My worthwhile task reminded of a poem that lives on the wall of my workshop. 
Here's the last stanza:
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

Marge Piercy, "To be of use" from Circles on the Water

Working alone, I sometimes lose my place, and my direction. I question what's worth doing, what I'm supposed to be doing, and whether I'm actually getting anything done at all. But today, the completion of a simple, satisfying task reminded me that things do get done, and that sometimes those chores that live on the back burner for ages are the ones that, once completed, reveal a new sense of purpose. 

Also, the whole poem is pretty great. You can read it all here:

Posted in chores, direction, marge piercy, purpose, tidying, work

Social media, antisocial me.

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Erin Kelly-Dill | 2 comments

A year has come and gone since the beginnings of Kelly & Co., so I thought now might be a good time to do some of the things I should have done quite a while ago. Get the social media house in order,  actually write a few blog posts – those sorts of things.

So here goes! I do really enjoy the whole blog thing (as you CANNOT tell from my single post in the past year), because I really enjoy writing.  Social media though, and socializing generally … not so fun for me.  Social media might be worse than actual socializing. It’s like attending a mixer with strangers in a dark and awkward vacuum, and you never know what everyone’s really thinking.

 I’m a rather antisocial sort, so I’m a pretty big fan of self-employment. My husband often asks if I get lonely working at home, alone in the woods all day, and I give him the same answer every time, “Nope.” He’s a much more social guy, and even after 24 years of marriage (19 of which I’ve worked from home), he still can’t imagine that I don’t get lonely.

This year though, I got out of the shop quite a bit, and spent many hours meeting many wonderful people at many, many handmade events.  And, shockingly, I liked it! It was exhausting, yes, but truly worthwhile and enjoyable.  I loved connecting with other vendors, as well as the cool folks checking things out.

The happy result of all of that actual socializing is that posting on Instagram now feels less like whispering into an unknowable void, and more like sending a postcard. And while I’m much more comfortable with the cardstock reality of a postcard, I’m learning to appreciate my little virtual village.

So here’s to giving the new a chance, even if it’s a tad scary and you think you’re going to hate it!

Posted in craft shows, handmade, instagram, makers markets, new year, social media

New year, new(ish) bag.

Posted on January 06, 2016 by Erin Kelly-Dill | 0 comments

So I thought I’d start the new year with a true confession – it turns out I have been in denial about the fact that I am a big-bag person. Until recently, during any bag related talk (which happens with surprising frequency) I would have said, “Oh, I just carry a small, kinda sporty bag.” And I would have been LYING. Because in the car, and in the mudroom, there were other bags. The roomy bags I relied on to tote the essential encumbrances of a rural existence. Living 45 minutes from anywhere means there are things you’ve got to bring along when you venture out of the hills. Snacks, extra layers, lots of water, a book or three.  So I’d sling my tidy little bag over my shoulder, and stow one of the giant denial bags in the car, drawing from it as needed, like a closet smoker.

But then I designed a big bag. A bag I really loved the look, feel and features of, but felt I didn’t need, not being a big-bag person.  When I made a small design change, there was one original version left, and I took it, because I liked it so much. And then I began using it. And suddenly my eyes were opened to the fact that it is the sort of bag I should have had on my shoulder all along!  It holds water, layers, snacks and books, as well as the things I carried in my small bag – wallet, phone, lip balm, portable cutlery, notebook, pencil.  As well as a bunch of other stuff if I feel like it! Recently, it’s successfully contained my winter coat, stocking stuffers for the whole family, and a few pieces of pottery, and below you can see it containing a fairly typical load (with room to spare!).


I feel lighter after my confession, even with my big bag on my shoulder. Happy New Year!

Posted in bag, new year, tote, waxed canvas

Making, making, making...

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Erin Kelly-Dill | 0 comments

I've been a maker of all sorts of things since I was small. Tissue paper fairy dresses for Skipper, dried apple head dolls, and don't get me started on what an 8 year old with a rich fantasy life can do with birch bark (um...everything!).

Kelly & Co. feels like a warm and wonderful culmination of all these years of making- I'm designing things folks use every day, using the most wonderful materials, and making things that I know really work (and they look lovely while doing it, to boot!).

Having my Uncle Don's rolling pins living here too is like the icing on the cake. He has also been making things since I've known him (my whole life!), and his rolling pins embody that dreamy combination I learned about in art school- beautiful form, and function.

Let the Kelly & Co. journey begin!




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