Steven & William Ladd

Some people think you should keep your circles small but I prefer big, colorful hula-hoops over tiny rings. Did you know we added 6 new members to The Jolly Troop last year?! The other day, I decided to take the newbies someplace special to learn something special so we went to Willamsburg to visit Steven & William Ladd.

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Pascal knows Steven & William from his time at The Invisible Dog (the place Yvette and I saw their one-of-a-kind chandeliers). Steven & William are artists, business partners and brothers who make art out of things like buckles, straps, beads, boxes and metal ants.

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Silas and Baron were really into their art. 

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Have you ever touched volcanoes made from fabric and beads? Luckily they aren't as hot as the kind with magma inside.

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As Roman got an aerial view of the Steven & William's volcanoes...

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... Edward asked the brothers a curious question, "Do you have a motto?"

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"I'll bet you a star and a dandelion they do," Sophia hummed. And she was right!

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Motto, Part 1: Spend your life doing what you love (like making hanging lamps with fantastic fabric).

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When Steven & William were younger, they spent many summer hours in their grandmother's rose garden. They loved their grandma and they loved roses. Now, they make rose bushes out of beads, string and grandmother-memories. Do you make memories with your grandma?

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Motto, Part 2: Be focused and disciplined (can you find all 7 birds in this image?).

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Being an artist takes time, skill, creativity, patience, long hours, strokes of genius, excellence, whimsy and the ability to fly through the rough spots. But just remember: you can do it!

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Motto, Part 3: Collaborate (get all the colors involved).

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Steven & William have collaborative thoughts all the time—like when they made calendars out of paper hand grenades. Edward was curious what would happen if the brothers forgot a birth date - - !

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When it was time to leave, William gave us a goodbye, good-friend kiss (which suddenly made Roman bashful)...

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... while the others wrapped up their game of "Keep Away" with Steven.

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As the brothers turned out the lights and left for the day, we sat atop the chandelier and imagined what life would have been like if we had never enlarged our circle: we never would have met one another and we may have never met Steven & William. Happily for us, those stories never came true.

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Please love, support and visit our wonderful, generous friends: Steven & William Ladd. Click here to be directed to their website.