This is Joanna Figueroa today. I am one half of the Fig Tree team and along with my better half Eric and the Figlets [above in the Christmas card], we make up the core of how and why I do this wonderful and crazy job. Then of course I have all of my fabulous piecers, quilters and office staff to make it all work. I am what Eric sometimes refers to as the “bottleneck” of the business. If I don’t create it, everyone else can’t print it, package it, box it, sell it, buy it and create something beautiful with it! I really can’t imagine having any other job. Really. I feel lucky every day to be where I am.
When I heard about the JOY posts over here at the mothership [what we lovingly like to call MODA whenever we get the chance] I thought to myself… now why didn’t I think of that. To take a break from all the crazy, stressful days, all the shopping, all the everything and write and read stories of JOY. It’s perfect.
For me joy is something that is most often found in the most unexpected places in the most unexpected times. Sometimes, though, I feel like joy is something that I have had to choose in order to find it.
I have to tell you that cutting fabric is one of those unexpected joys for me. What seems like in another lifetime, I used to work in a fabric store and that is where I learned to cut fabric and where I fell in love with it. To this day if I am overwhelmed or just feel like I have been working on the computer for too long, I go and cut bundles. It is almost therapeutic for me. Sewing of course does this too but cutting fabric is one of those tiny unexpected joys in my life.
One of the things that has been bringing me a lot of joy lately is watching the friendship between my youngest who is 9 and my middle who is 13. They are both still so innocent and total goofballs and they play so well together that it makes me stop and watch. Especially in a time when most of their friends are “too cool” for stuff like this, the two of them are concocting silly games to entertain themselves. They clearly enjoy each other and watching them or their goofy expressions brings me a deep joy.
For those of you who know me personally, you will know that I literally could not do any of what I do without my husband Eric. You would also know that despite the fact that we work so closely together, we are quite different from one another and many think it is quite a wonder that we are such good partners. He makes me laugh every day. He makes me crazy too. He makes me breakfast :-). He is my best friend and although there are many days when the fact that we are so different makes us both crazy, he still brings me joy.
Christmas time is one of my absolute favorite times of the year as I am sure it is for so many of you. There is something so wonderful about creating that Christmas feel in my home, it makes it all so much more than decorating. I think my favorite moments are when the kids open up a box of decorations [that they have first complained about having to take out] that they remember from years past and the “do you remember whens….” begin. That brings me joy.
Watching the house lights get turned on each evening and the smell of my favorite apple cider candle, that brings me joy.
Laying by the Christmas tree and reading Christmas stories… even to the teenagers… makes me happy. It brings me joy that they humor me!
As others have already said before me, there is unbelievable joy in the giving. We have had some hard family times around the Fig home in the last couple of years and sometimes the only joy that there was to have was the joy of watching others receive. Something that Fig Tree is sponsoring in the year to come, in February to be exact, is a RED & WHITE CHARITY QUILT SHOW for our local children’s hospice home. More on that on my blog later, but i just wanted to throw it out there. MODA and several of the other designers have joined in and are donating goodies and quilts to the auction. Thank you! If you are reading this and have a red and white quilt or would be happy to make one by February, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org We would be so happy to have you join us!
Whether it is this time of the year or any other, what is true for me is that joy happens in the little moments. Some of them are unmistakeable and some of them you have to choose to see.
I hope this season is filled with moments of joy for you. Any kind of joy!
Merry Christmas, Joanna