Obsessively Fabricated

Lily Who?

I’m Lily! Throughout the years, I’ve worn so many different hats. I ‘ve been a waitress, a bartender, an intern to an advertising agency art director, a typesetter, a furniture salesperson, a fabric salesperson, a linen specialist, an event designer and producer, a fabric designer, pattern designer… and those were just my job titles. I also have interests and hobbies that add artist, modern quilter, vegetable gardener, alpha chicken to a micro flock of backyard ladies, better than average home chef, lifelong learner, and traveler to that list. Through all of those things, I have learned that I’m great at juggling tasks to get through lists, I love to make and curate beautiful things and environments, and lastly, it’s important to me that things are meaningful.

What is Obsessively Fabricated?
Good question! In 2014, I designed two petite and cohesive fabric collections for Windham Fabrics, a producer of quilting weight cotton fabric. I chose my brand name because I am incredibly specific about the things that I craft. I often do things the hard way because they are also the right way. A well-constructed item brings me a lot of joy and most importantly, doesn’t make my eye twitch. My obsessiveness allows me to learn new skills and push myself to examine details. So I embrace my crazy, I label it, and I own it.

Why this?
Years ago, I remember traveling to Savannah and Charleston to indulge in mouth-watering Southern food and walk down shop lined streets. I was searching for special artsy indie gifts for me and my loved ones. While it was easy to find local consumable treats, it was difficult to find unique keepsakes that stood out enough to evoke memories while blending into my style and décor. To be honest, I was searching for something pecan related because while that was a symbol for that region, it was already incredibly precious to me as they are icons that represent my relationship with my grandpa.

What’s so special about pecans?
My grandpa’s yard in San Antonio, Texas was like a mini orchard for my sister and I. He had seven towering pecan trees and we spent countless hours shuffling our feet through the yard in search of those coveted jewels. As small children, we were best equipped for the job; we were already nice and close to the ground and had lots of expendable energy. After filling coffee cans up we would gather around a small table on the concrete slab and wait for grandpa to crack them open. Then our tiny fingers would get to work freeing the edible part from their rigid jacket. Whatever didn’t end up in our mouths ended up in another coffee can for future snacking.

I know that memories like this, while treasured, are not unique to me. Generations of families have echoed the same motions and feel a deeply rooted calm in the traditions of a pecan canopied life. The sound of the rustling leaves, knowing whether the nut hidden within is good just by feeling the weight in your hand, the veins of gritty near black residue that settles in the creases of your palms, the tiny abrasions that pepper your fingertips from the sharp armor imprisoning the pecans, the astringent taste of shell dust that sometimes clings to the buttery nut while sampling – it’s a sensory experience that you can only understand if you have participated in this sacred ceremony.

Communing with the graphics to make this first round of custom products seemed approporiate to launch this endeavor with my grandpa's blessing from beyond.

What’s next?
I have many more designs incubating in my brain so I will be adding different prints and products in a steady and mindful manner. While it won’t all be pecan-centric, it will be personal and authentic to me. Drop me a line and tell me what you think!

Bonus story!
When we were a little bit older, I remember that we asked grandpa to go out shopping because we were bored. He handed us each a plastic five gallon bucket and told us to fill them up with nuts. We spent a couple of hours doing that and then he loaded up us and the buckets (which were nowhere near full) into the truck. We drove to a pecan shelling place and sold them the nuts that we picked that day. After collecting our hard earned cash, I think it was maybe six dollars each, he took us to the dollar store so we could spend it. That was our first money making experience and we proudly came home with brightly colored plastic toys and sweet confections.

Grandpa taught me about the hustle, about using your skills and what you have around to get what you need.

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