In loving memory

In loving memory 150 150 Cotton Stories

One of our most heartbreaking, but also warming paintings we get to create are the sonogram paintings of a lost one. Every now and then parents reach out to us, asking us to create a painting in memory of their lost baby. Its devastating to realize how many parents there is that looses their baby before birth, or shortly after. A pain no parent ever should have to go trough. And since the request for these honorable paintings gets bigger we decided to ad this option when we launch Cotton 3.0.

I do feel very honored to be able to create a piece of art to cherish the little life that is just as loved but forever missed. For some, I’ve created paintings with a dot of red paint, symbolizing the heart that beated in the womb. The one place where the mother could feel the heartbeat of her baby. And for others, I’ve added wings to honor the angel baby.

Since I began making these I realized that we do talk to little about the loss of a child. Its almost like people want to hush it since it can be uncomfortable to get into it. Which I understand in a way. We all greif differently and for some, a sonogram painting might trigger pain, but for others it might be just the kind of thing you need to ease that pain. I do get many emails from loved ones wondering if its a good idea to give away a sonogram painting like this one. To be honest I cant think of a more nicer or loving gesture. This might be the only picture you have of your baby, and its probably more important if it’s the only one You’ll ever have. I’ve created “Angel sonogram paintings” from sonograms as early as 9 weeks which I think is so beautiful. Because no matter what, that baby of yours is loved unconditionally since day one, either you lost you child at 6 or 36 weeks. And that is something you want to cherish and honor forever.

These paintings, are by far the most precious piece of art I’ll ever get to create and it’s an honor to be able to do it.

Xoxo

Caroline

It’s all about the details.

It’s all about the details. 150 150 Cotton Stories

Last week was so much fun. We had a super exciting meetings that resulted in a new location to hang our paintings, and we had a super creative workshop to get one step closer to our main goal – Cotton 3.0.

Ive gotten som email from you asking if we will change the design of the paintings and I can assure you we will not. They will look the same except that we will be changing a few things like Size options and prices. But mainly the whole change will be everything that goes on before the end results. Like the choose of our paper, colors, packaging shipping etc. There is a lot of details to go trough so for us it is a ton of work but for the audience I guess its not that much that will be seen. except for the website and visual things. We have an Art director that does a whole new graphical profile which feels so luxurious since she has an eye for details that I can assure you I don’t have. The things we’ve been discussing has made me realize that you do need some professional eyes on your brand if you want it to look flawless and professional. I’ve just been doing what I think is good for a really long time and thats fine, but I really like it when people that know more than you do, point you in the right direction.

One thing thats been really fun during this journey has been the search for the right materials to work with. As an artist you have you favorite things that you’ve worked with for ages. I am one of those to stick to the tings I know and rarely try new things since its scary to go into the unknown world of colors and pencils. At least thats how I felt before I started to try out new materials I realized I have been missing out on soooo much. Just the choice of the perfect pencil. What is a perfect pencil? Does it really matter? I was very skeptical when I was going to try out one of the “fancy brushes” as my dad would call it, but let me tell you It totally blew my mind. I have never felt so in control of the amount of water or color as I did with this magical brush. The same thing with paper. I don’t believe in cheap paper, we’ve all been there, when the paper just doesn’t work! So I’ve actually been quite picky when it comes to the chose of watercolor paper. But as always, I found something that worked and stuck to it, never really looking for something better.

The search for the perfect watercolor paper has probably been the hardest part. Where do you even begin? When we found a brand we liked, they didn’t have the sizes we wanted, and if another brand did, the quality wasn’t up to our needs. This resulted in a huge search for the perfect paper and now we are down to 3 options. I’ve found one that I really like since it is a Swedish brand and its handmade so the paper factory will make the papers as we wish. So now I just need to try them out to see how I like them and hopefully I do.

We also have a new addition to our paintings. We will launch our 3D paintings along with Cotton 3.0 and to be honest this was something I never thought I’d do since its a whole new level of artwork. But the requests have been getting so big that I thought I’d give it a try, and I am so glad I did cause this is something out of the ordinary. Its more artistic and artsy which will make a great addition to the family. Lets give you a little sneak peak of how they’ll look. Im still working out a few details but it’ll be something like this.

3D sonogram painting from last weeks workshop

What do you guys think?

xoxo
Caroline

The change

The change 974 1001 Cotton Stories

As I mentioned before Cotton has been going trough some changes during the last few months. It has all been very exciting but also exhausting. A few months back I took a harsh decision after many weeks of going trough solutions that just didn’t ad up. Sometimes things just doesn’t work out in the long run, and you have to choose between letting go or move on. I decided to move on. Im pretty sure a lot of you have realized that me and Josephine are no longer working together. We decided to go our separate ways after working together for nearly 2 years. When something isn’t working out the way you thought it would, it is very important to do something about it. Even if it means ending something.

I’ve learned a lot about myself during the last few years, but running a business really makes you get to know your self on a whole new level. You are responsible for every little thing regarding you company. I’ve always seen myself as kind of a shy not so tuff person, but I’ve realized that I do have some balls when it comes to it. If I want something, I tend to get it. It may take a while but when I look back I realize that I do get shit done. And if something isn’t working, I do something about it.

But let me tell you that it does not come for free. You have to sacrifice a few things on the way and I’ve probably been crying my eyes out for 10 years to come, but it has left me with one huge insight, I need to stop taking everything so personal. As Robert once told me, “You will get screwed over so many times, and people will always want to tare you down, you just have to learn not to break down every time shit hits the fan”. He litterly told me this after I’ve been crying over a situation a little longer than he thought was necessary. But that made me realize he was right. So I gently told him to let me cry this one out and then I would stop. And I did, and to be honest I felt at ease after. Like something really just dropped of my shoulders. May sound weird but since that day, I think I actually mentally changed my way of thinking.

I am an artist, and I tend to put my heart down in everything a create. Thats probably why I react so strong to bumps in the road and especially since I am walking on very unknown grounds. I know my way with the brushes, but I have no clue about marketing/sales or how to build a brand, So my main mission was to find someone to invest in Cotton Stories with their expertise. Someone who could do the things I cant. Thats when I found Madeleine. She’s married to one of my boyfriends clients and I asked her during a dinner if she would be interesting in taking a look at Cotton Stories just to point me in the right direction and let me in on some tricks. We had a lunch a few weeks later and after that she was in. Sometimes it just feels right and she now takes care of everything that goes on behind the scenes, all the details you see, from website to advertising is the mastermind of her skills. She is kind of my other brain, my coordinator and digital guru.

She also makes me do things I normally wouldn’t do. Or maybe I would but it would take me a while to build up the currage to do it. Now she contacts people and set up meetings for us to go to. She’s a doer for sure. And everybody needs one of those in their life. Especially if you want to build something from the ground. And thats what we’re doing right now. We are creating Cotton Stories 3.0 and our plan is to have everything set before the baby gets here ( only 66 days left ) and you know what. We are redesigning everything. the shop, webpage, our graphical profile and all the details behind every aspect of Cotton Stories. Last week we came along way and we actually made some huge progress which we celebrated in the best way. A very long and well earned luxury breakfast!

xoxo
Caroline

30 weeks pregnant!

30 weeks pregnant! 1024 683 Cotton Stories

I’ts been a while since I did a pregnancy update. Time flies and december was the most hectic month of the year. After the holiday rush I felt it was time to take a few days of and just relax. So needed. I’ve been so extremely tired lately, scary tired, the kind of tired that makes it hard to manage to stay awake for a whole day so the last days before Christmas I actually had to take 2 power naps a day to manage everything. This pregnancy has absolutely been nothing like the first one. Maybe its because I have a 3 year old keeping me busy, or maybe its just that no pregnancy is the same. I talked to my midwife about the tiredness and it turned out I had iron deficiency so that explained why I was feeling so extremely weak. It felt good to find a reason why something didn’t feel right, that way you easily can fix it. At least thats what I thought. Turned out I don’t respond very well to the medicine you should eat to get you levels up, so now I am back to vomiting and feeling sick every night. LOVE this. Hopefully my levels will be better in 1 week or 2 and I can get back to feeling normal. Keeping my fingers crossed! My face is currently doing the “vampire look” according to my midwife.

Since its only 10 weeks left until my due date I realized I should start thinking about all the things that needs to be done. There is a lot of things happening now. Cotton is expanding and we are going to take it to the next level in just a few weeks. There is a lot of details yet to be set and we have a ton of work a head of us but it is so exciting.

In the middle of all we finally found a new apartment for us to move in to, me and my family have been living in a small 1 bedroom apartment for over 3 years, and with the baby coming we really need a bigger place. Nothing is settled yet, we are still waiting for the papers to be signed but if all goes well we’ll be moving right in time for the baby to arrive. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the move will be done before the birth, but at the moment it looks like I will be giving birth in the middle of it. yeeeej. But hey, why do things the easy way when you can spice things up bit by making it extra challenging. #Make it work!

Cotton baby at 30 weeks

This baby belly is getting huge, and heavy! He moves around a lot and keeps me up at night for sure. I walk like an old lady and sometimes it feels like he is about to crawl out. I have a strong feeling he will arrive before my due date. I realized when saying that out loud that I need to start preparing mentally for the birth. Last time we had a scheduled C-section since giving birth trough my “Hua” was out of the question, but his time I feel very different and my plan is to let my body decide how this little dude is going to enter the world. I’ll be digging in to this subject more in another post since I find it extremly important to talk about giving every woman a safe delivery, no matter how it looks.

It really feels like everything happening this year and it is so exciting but also very scary, what will this year be like? How will I manage a business and a newborn in the middle of a move (may the force be with me). 2018 was full of surprises and challenges that took some unexpected turns and I will do a year summary for you all to read since you’ve been with us on this journey since day 1.

xoxo
Caroline

Hello from Santas dungen

Hello from Santas dungen 1024 683 Cotton Stories

So the last few weeks has been crazy. I mean CRAZY. I was a little prepared since last years order rush was extrem but this year I totalt lost track of time. The days flew by and all of a sudden I realized I had just 2 more days to finish ALL orders before Christmas, and I had to fix all the paintings that was going to MamaMia last week. I am not the queen of planning or getting things done, well I do get things done, but I am more the kind of person who gets everything done the very last minute! Thankfully my colleague is much more organized and keeps everything in place so I don’t fuck up completely. She is my brain these days and I really don’t know how I could manage Cotton Stories without her. We are expanding, and we are expanding fast so its nice to have a killer lady by my side since I am more of the “chaotic artist ” kinda gal.


If someone would have told me 4 years ago when I was pregnant with Filippa that I would one day be hanging my art work at MamaMia, which is Scandinavias largest women and child health care center, I probably would have laughed. But now, it’s so weird knowing that my art is seen in not only one waiting room, but 4 and we are going to put up more paintings around Sthlm next year. That is just…wow.

We do have some very exciting meetings waiting for us when we get back from the holidays. I have a feeling next year will be the most exciting year so far, and probably the hardest to since Im having a baby in the middle of all this! I do however hope that 2019 will be less dramatic. This past fall has been the hardest one since I had to make some very harsh decisions regarding Cotton Stories that left a lot of hurt feelings and broken friendships behind. I came to a point where I had to listen to my gut and just to what felt right. It was not easy, and it took a lot of courage to be able to do it. Life is not easy, but everything happens for a reason and sometimes you have to just let go to be able to go further, even if it means doing something you never thought you had to do.

xoxo
Caroline