arubymoon - Firefly Handmade Featured Artisan
It’s hard to miss Jennifer Grant and her kaleidoscope of hand-carved, Tibetan prayer flag inspired prints at Firefly Handmade Markets. A veteran of the Firefly community, Jennifer’s company, arubymoon, has been warming our shoppers’ hearts and homes for years. Her colorful prayer and gratitude flags offer inspiring and creative messages of joy, encouragement, and love to oneself and those around you.
We’re thrilled to have arubymoon as a part of the Firefly brood and can’t wait to see what Jennifer has in store for us at our Holiday Market. She’ll make shopping for loved ones quite easy, not to mention she is a vibrant and helpful member of our artisan family. She is always quick to lend a hand, a kind word or a thoughtful gesture, emulating the sentiment of her art.
Where did your company get it's name?
When I originally started, I had a partner and we were creating a variety of different work and products about taking care of ourselves and each other including bags, games, and activities that helped create family rituals and traditions. We chose this name as it was colorful, bright, and loved the changing celestial images and symbolism of the moon. We loved having a name that would allow us the freedom to pursue all our inspirations and passions under the one brand as we hopefully grew.
How and when did you start making prayer flags?
I have always loved the Tibetan Prayer Flags and their concept of spreading written words, prayers, hopes, and intentions across the world as the flags move in the wind. Years ago I ran a mother/daughter group. When our girls were about 7 years old we went on a weekend camping retreat. I brought flags for us to create together to decorate our campsite. They could also be brought home to remind us of the experience. We wrote and drew on the panels. We placed images and words of what we wanted to celebrate about ourselves and what we wanted more of in our lives. Four years later many of the girls still had them hanging in their rooms. I realized there was something so special about creating them together and I began selling kits for folks to celebrate and honor their own milestones and moments. I made samples which gained interest quickly and then I began creating flags for many occasions.
Are you a classically trained artist? Where did you study?
I have always enjoyed creating with many mediums but have had no formal training. My degrees are in Outdoor Education and Occupational Therapy. These professions and experiences definitely informed and influenced the work I do today. I am a self-taught printmaker. I love the challenge of carving a block, figuring out the positive and negative spaces and creating the image I have envisioned.
What do you hope the audience will feel when they interact with your art?
I hope people will feel inspired to celebrate someone or something important in their lives. I love to hear their flag stories, where they share the flags and with whom. I hope people will look at the flags and think of a person or two, a friend, family member, community member, that they want to connect with or celebrate. I hope people will share them far and wide and frequently. Putting good intentions and loving connections out on the wind to the world.
What is your favorite project right now? Why?
My current favorite project is a series of Santa blocks I just finished carving. I was inspired to create these by some oil paintings my Great Grandfather created in the early 1940's. Each Christmas morning my Mom and her sister would find a new painting of Santa as their note from him. They were amazing and I wanted to share the story and his vintage Santas. I can’t wait to share these images as flags, cards and new Christmas ornaments this holiday season.
We love your flag stories page on your website. Can you please choose one of your favorite stories and elaborate on it a bit more?
I had one woman purchase some blank flags to bring into the office to support a co-worker battling cancer. She said they disappeared from the break room so quickly she called the next day to pick up more. The entire office then collectively created two beautiful sets filled with words of encouragement and support and hung them in her office. She loved them and was very touched by the gesture. Unfortunately she ultimately lost her battle with cancer, but her two children each took one of the flags sets with beautiful words written about their mom as a way to remember and honor her.
Can you give us a sneak peek at any new products we might see at the Holiday Market?
This holiday season I will have a new set of Santa flags and some new wooden and fabric Christmas Ornaments. I also hope to have some flags inspired by favorite water activities in Colorado (canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and rafting) and perhaps some new inspirational styles. I have been working on creating a new banner style wall hanging with block prints of some of Colorado’s popular mountains that I cannot wait to share.
Why are you proud to be a Firefly Handmade Artisan?
I love the opportunity to be a part of Firefly. It is such a beautifully curated market full of talented makers and artists. The markets are always such wonderful events full of positive energy and I love being in Boulder. I am grateful to be included amongst such incredible vendors when I have the opportunity to participate in Firefly. To be able to share my work with the front range community is an honor and a delight.
We’re so excited to catch all of arubymoon’s new and current creations at the Firefly Handmade Holiday Market, December 16 & 17 at the NEW Embassy Suites Hotel on Canyon and 28th.
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