Monday, January 05, 2009

Mom to Mom: Carrol Caldwell

I had the good fortune of crossing paths with a creative mama who recently made my life a bit easier. You see, I love painting quotes on walls. On the bedroom wall of my former NYC flat, I painted a quote by Colette, "It is beyond dispute that I can fly in dreams".

And I once manifested a major quote painting fiesta at this OB/GYN's office in upstate NY. It was a rewarding, yet arduous task even with my old Astroscope opaque projector and a crew.

So you can imagine my curiosity when I stumbled upon Wall Words. I contacted them regarding a custom quote for above our fireplace.

The product reminded me very much of the Letraset press-type rub on lettering that I used in art school back in the 80's. However, Wall Words are pre-spaced. No measuring! No aligning! And here's the took me less than FIVE minutes to put up. Less than FIVE MINUTES and just in time for our solstice celebration!!! Seriously, my husband timed it. The quote would normally have taken me an entire afternoon to align, draw and paint above our fireplace.

So I decided to chat with Carrol, the mama-inventor of Wall Words about motherhood and the launch of her business. Dare I mention that she is also giving away two ready-made quotes? Simply leave a comment at the end of this post (specify which quote you would like) and I will use a random generator to pick the winners on Thursday.
  • Every time a child is born... the world lights up with new possibilities
  • Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away
*Carrol is also giving a generous 25% discount to Mother Rising readers until January 31, 2009. Click here to receive a discount code for 25% off your order.

It is my pleasure to introduce to you...

Carrol Caldwell
Mom to: Adam (37); Suzy (35)
Grandma to: Mira (1 mo)
Where: California
Site: Wall Words

1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?

It made me think outside of myself and put others before me.

2. What is one tip you would like to share about mothering?

Mothering doesn’t stop when their 18. In fact, I think that’s when they need you most because their facing so many choices and they need your input.

3. What is your creative outlet/medium?

I raise love birds, paralets and finches. Also I enjoy painting murals.

4. How do you orchestrate motherhood and your creative passion?

I found it hard to have time for my artwork when the kids were small, but as they grew I could include them and teach them. Today my daughter is a graphic designer and my son is a musician and sells fine wine. They are both creative and understand that they have to love what they do in order to live a happy life.

5. What inspired you to launch your business, Wall Words?

I'm a graphic designer and I hand painted signs as part of my job. I used to enjoy hand-lettering quotations on the walls of my home. I had found a wonderful old print from the 1800's of a half submerged mermaid hugging a lad who was standing on some rocks in the ocean. I thought it would be fun to have the print across from the commode and then have this poem start in the corner and run around the bathroom.

"A mermaid found a swimming lad and took him for her own. Pressed her body to his body, laughed; and plunging down, forgot in cruel happiness that even lovers drown." - Yeats

One using the facilities would see the print, then start reading the poem and (hopefully) chuckle. But painting this long quotation by Yeats in my bathroom while tottering on a stepladder was agonizingly slow. In 8 months I had only painted 5 words. I decided there had to be a better way, so designed the text on my computer and had vinyl letters made by a display company. It took me 20 minutes to install. It was quick and easy to apply, and people thought it was hand painted.

6. What grounds you, moves you, fills your well?

I like to come up with new and creative ways of putting art on walls. I also love when customers send us photos of what they created with our products. We've received so many wonderful photos that we started “Photo of the Week” so that we could inspire others with our customer's creations. In addition, we award a $30 gift certificate for the best “Photo of the Week”.

I would also like to say that I have a wonderful staff who helps me with the creative process and helps to manifest the creative vision of my customers. I couldn’t do this without them. Then there’s my husband whom, while making a kit car, does ALL the cooking in our home. I get home late most nights and he has a glass of wine waiting for me on the counter and dinner is ready. You have to love a man like that!

*Most Alive Monday will resume next week.

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posted by Wendy at 5:32 AM


Blogger Spicy Sister said...

I LOVE these! Thanks for introducing us to this woman and her wall words! I love collecting quotes but am not steady enough with my hands to feel safe putting them up on the wall. This would definitely help!

I love BOTH quotes!

12:24 PM  
Blogger mama to a&n said...

These are great, I think the quote "Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away"
will be perfect in my kitchen I am in the middle of painting a whole empty wall with chalkboard paint.

I can't wait to finish it now! I get the best ideas from your blog:)

12:35 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

hey there, mama to a&n. you are a hard one to find. would you mind sending me and email with your email addy so i can respond to you personally. it's cozier, yes?

1:28 PM  
Anonymous granolagirl said...

I would be happy with either quote. They are both beautiful! The child is born quote would be fitting for our new arrival expected in June! Thanks for sharing your Mom to Mom feature. I look forward to each new one.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Of these quotes, I like the breaths one best for me.

Would also love this:

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of

(the opening to Denise Levertov's "The Secret")

Or this haiku by Roberta Beary:

first snow --
at every window
a child's face

or, or, or... wow, this is pretty exciting stuff!

Thanks, too, for the fabulous Grandmaster Satch video... holy spin moves!

9:35 PM  
Blogger Crisa said...

Thanks for this. I've been wanting to paint a monogram in my bedroom and this looks much easier. I love the "Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away" for my picture wall!

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

What a great website. Either quote, I could use the breaths one in my bedroom or living room, or the possibilities one in the homeschool room. If I have to choose one...I can't, you chose for me :)


11:56 AM  
Blogger E and T said...

Hi Wendy

Oh this is exciting. I have spent some time at Carrol's Wall Words site and am loving all of the ideas from her customers. I have been checking out the Winners Ideas 2008 and can think of so many possibilities for our home. I loved the Grandma's good chair and home of daddy's world famous pancakes. Then there was the quote: Worth the Wait above the photo of the couple expecting a baby. I could go on and on. We have just started a new photo wall in our lounge room and once we have selected a a quote I think it wouldn't be complete without Carrol's work.

In terms of the give away I love that second quote. I saw it just the othe day on a paper weight. I should have bought it, but I didn't and now here it is again. It's so true and something that I would display in our living area.

Wendy thank you for sharing Carrol's beautiful work - her quotes make a space so much more cosier,inviting and special.

Lots of love

9:38 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I love the "breaths" quote. It is so very true.
I love Wall Words. I have looked at them before and marvelled at what a wonderful idea they are.
Love your blog!

3:03 AM  
Blogger Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Hooray...another mom to mom interview and a wonderful new discovery. I'd never heard of Wall Words before this post and now I am looking forward to checking out more of Carrol's work. I love the quote about moments that take your breath away. Even if I don't win (but I hope I do!) I will be putting that in a good spot to look at on a daily basis.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Karen Maezen Miller said...

Oh I'm so glad I looked up from my burrow to see this and say, "Tear down my walls!"Or at least, open them up to a better use.

7:44 PM  

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