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Cotton Stories

In loving memory 150 150 Cotton Stories

In loving memory

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. 150 150 Cotton Stories

It’s all about the details.

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 974 1001 Cotton Stories

The change

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! 1024 683 Cotton Stories

30 weeks pregnant!

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 1024 683 Cotton Stories

Hello from Santas dungen

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

25 weeks pregnant… 1024 683 Cotton Stories

25 weeks pregnant…

…and the pregnancy brain has hit the fan for sure. I’ve seriously been thinking I’ve got 25 weeks left (!?) of this pregnancy so when my mother told me it was only 15 to go, I kind of panicked a bit. 15! thats nothing!? And I haven’t even began to purchase the stuff we need, or think about important stuff like, his name? Ok thats I lie, I do nothing but think of what to name this little guy since I cant find the perfect name just yet. I do have a few favorites that we go back and forth from but it doesn’t have that “thats it” feeling that you want to achieve.

I’ve actually started to like the name Filippa has given him, which is Pelle, but Robert is not as keen on it as I am. And when I say it out load I can hear half of our family going “Thats not a name” but its cute though. And my grandfathers name was Pelle (Per) so I guess that has something to do with it as well. 

In moments like this, I kinda wish babies would come with a name. Who are you? What do you look like? Are you a Noah or Pelle? Lennon or Elliot? Since we found out it was a boy the name Noah has been in the back of my head. I think its neutral, calm and fits all ages. So if I should name him today. It would probably be Noah, and I am pretty sure I will look at him and see if he is a Noah the moment he is on my chest and If he isn’t? well….than Im lost and he will be called “the baby” for the next few weeks. 

She’s gonna be the best sister ever to this little man.

Since Roberts is extremely tired of me asking him for baby names, I got a bit creative and decided to ask the one place where there should be an answer. Instagram 😉 Help us name this little fella before the Swedish state goes in and gives him a name. 

xoxo
Caroline

24 weeks pregnant- and the anxiety has arrived 1024 683 Cotton Stories

24 weeks pregnant- and the anxiety has arrived

Lets give a heads up for not so positive and happy update this week. I’ve been thinking about not posting at all since I couldn’t really think of anything great to say about the past week. But then I thought, who am I trying to fool? I am not some super person who only goes trough happy days and never feel low or not on top. I am the exact opposite. I feel high on life just as much as I feel the lowest of low, So I decided to just tell it as it is, cause I am pretty sure I am not the only one experiencing the feelings I am right now.

The past few weeks its been creeping up on me that we soon will have 2 kids. We will within just a few months have another life to take care of and he will probably shake things up a bit. We’ve been a family of 3 for nearly 4 years and the past 2 years we’ve really been enjoying the life we live. Everything goes on quite smoothly and we feel that we have a great balance between work and family life. Roberts works a lot, so that means I take care of most things regarding our home and Filippa, which has been hard from time to time, but overall she’s pretty easy and we like our daily routine.

We felt we’d reached a time in life where it would be nice to give her a sibling and we both wanted one more child so it felt like the right time. Here’s where I feel a bit torned. “Am I fucking up our life bringing another baby into this house?” “Can you love the next child as much as the first one? “what if we change our minds? (never gonna happen) Is now really the best time? WHAT IF I CANT HANDLE TWO KIDS? pleeeease don’t give me any hard comments or mom shaming on this, I feel bad enough about this already. But feel free to share your experience during your pregnancy.

Everyone keeps telling me its so great and “he is soon here, don’t you want to fast speed the time?” And Im more like – NO! please stop the time for a bit. I need to get my head around this whole thing. I need to feel ready!  will I ever feel ready? I am truly looking forward to our little man, but to be honest I am terrified. I can look at our daughter and burst in to tears knowing that the time we’re its only me and her soon will be over. That she will have to share me with her baby brother. How will she manage that? How can I be there for her the way she needs when I have a baby to put first? Some nights I have nightmares of me forgetting either her or the baby somewhere, and wake up soaking wet and cant catch my breath!

I said to Robert the other day that I wish I was one of those mother who just took things smoothly and didn’t think as much as I apparently do. I am so afraid of fucking things up that I have a hard time focusing on just being there. I know everything probably will fall into place when he is born and hopefully all of my fears will just go away the moment he is placed on my chest but for now, I cant stop feeling stressed over the whole thing. And it seems like every other mother around me just goes with the flow and manage to keep sane all the way, and here I am panicking over the fact that we will have another beautiful baby in our family? But as Robert told me. -You may not feel that you got your shit together, but honestly you are capable of so much more that you think. Did I ever mention I love him? He is my rock, and I truly hope he is right.

Wow, that felt good to put my thoughts out of my head for once. Lets end this with a pic of this 24 weeks belly to show how I feel about this little guy when my worries don’t come to the surface.

What was going trough your mind when you were pregnant?

xoxo
Caroline

prepping for take off 1024 683 Cotton Stories

prepping for take off

The last few weeks as been soooo insane , we’ve been having an extrem order pressure and scheduled all of our company collabs to be ready this week. Which means I’ve been painting babies high and low! This week Im shipping of a few paintings to a ultrasound clinic in America, and next week we will be hanging 9 paintings at another company here in Stockholm. It feel so weird yet very exciting to have my work exhibit in the right envoriment.

As the weeks go by I don’t really think as much about the growing baby inside my belly. But now its getting a bit hard not to be reminded every once in a while that he is actually there. He is very active and likes what feels like rolling around in my womb, it kind of tickles and makes you a bit see sick at the same time, haha! And the belly is getting bigger so its getting hard being able to sit down and paint for very long these days….

I never really thought about the fact that the belly would get so huge that it might be difficult for me to paint the way I am used to, but I realize now that I have to start standing up just in a few weeks. good thing I have a table that you can switch positions with.

Cant wait to show you where our paintings will be seen next week! We are super excited!

 

xoxo
Caroline

23 weeks pregnant! 1024 683 Cotton Stories

23 weeks pregnant!

The baby is now the size of an grapefruit. Thats just insane! haha I still imagine him very small but I can tell by his movement thats he is getting bigger. This week I am actually feeling…wait for it – GREAT! I don’t know if my body is finding its right place in this pregnancy or if its just a really good week overall, but I’ve been able to move more smoothly lately with is such a relief. And the nausea is pretty much all gone now! So if I am lucky, I will feel a lot better the rest of the pregnancy.

I told you guys last week about my clothing crisis and let me tell you it is now even bigger! Feels like the belly exploded this weekend, and I now have trouble wearing pretty much everything I own. And what is the deal with the boobs that won’t stop growing?! Thankfully I use to work at the best maternity underwear website on this earth –Glammom.se who has the best maternity brahs for pregnant and breast-feeding mamas and I will place another order very soon since I’ve already outgrown the brahs I bough a few weeks back…But who says no to some shopping right? woop!

Another thing thats has gone bananas is my sugar cravings. Robert is now seriously thinking about putting a lock our refrigerator since I cant keep my hands away from all kinds of chocolate and aaaaaaaaall I hear is that pregnant people should not eat to much sugar…The people who says that, has never been pregnant. Will it end or just keep getting worse? The easiest thing should be not to buy the stuff, but if he doesn’t…well lets just say he is better off with my gaining a few extra kilos than having to take the fight of a pregnant ladys cravings every night for the next 4 months…

Happy wife, happy life!

xoxo
Caroline

 

 

 

Our very first business collaboration 1024 683 Cotton Stories

Our very first business collaboration

I told you guys last week that we’ve been working pretty hard to find new ways to collaborate, and one of our main goals was to find a way to collaborate with other companies. We’ve just started our very first company collab and are so excited to show you. We want to work with companies that share the same passion for value and content as we do but its a bit tricky when the things we sell are nothing we have in stock or can just make other companies want to take in easily. So we had to think outside the box. How do we want to work with other companies, and what could we offer them in exchange? We started to think about what we thought was important while pregnant and the time after birth. Madeleine had just had a prophylactic course and kept talking about how amazing and calming it was. Not only because of the education she got, but because of the great environment and  the people who worked there. After that we realized, this is the kind of place we would want our paintings to be seen. Not on a billboard, not in the subway station (although that would be pretty cool) But in a calm, loving place where soon to be parents go to prepare yourself for the big day.

After meeting the women at BabyGruppen Sthlm we had an even stronger feeling that this was the right place and I know for sure that I will take a few courses myself to prepare for birth, and after birth Im hoping the baby will let me try baby Yoga, that sounds so fun!

Its so nice to enter a place that doesn’t feel clinical as most places do when you’re expecting. This was a warm feeling and it more felt like to step into someones house and we love that we got the honor to hang not only 1 but 4 of our paintings and to be able to give BabyGruppens customers a nice discount as an extra treat for the mama to be. So for all you mamas and papas living in Stockholm, make sure to check out BabyGruppen and see what they have to offer.

We made sure to get a picture of both of us for once, since the lady next to me are the brains behind this mission and the once to come 😉

xoxo
Caroline