The Blog Print

"Every 'next level' will demand a different version of you"

It has been a while since the last blog post. I promise haven't fallen off the mountain, though it has been a very transitional year.  I do not usually write 'update blogs' but felt it was time to reach out, give you the latest and reconnect. With that said, it is lovely to be back at the keyboard again.

'Taking it to the next level'. It wasn't quite the intention, however it has become a running theme of the year. 2016 has not particularly fallen into what I would call 'a year that rocked', but amongst the challenges it has most certainly been enlightening and reflective. Many big changes have been set into motion over the past 8 months which are slowly...(and finally) beginning to take shape. With big changes come big questions and big decisions. A reinvention of sorts, taking charge and redefining how this should all play out.

Jan. 1, on the way home from a very brief but extremely painful hospital stay, I made a clear declaration that I was moving studio, house and home this year. It was an extremely definitive moment and I knew the Universe heard me loud and clear. At the time, I wasn't sure where exactly I'd land, but knew the chapter here in Western North Carolina (8 years to be exact) was coming to an end. My business needed the right location to reach its potential and the ugly truth was: This. Wasn't. It.

In addition to that reality check, my nomadic tendencies were making their presence very known. The Inner Compass has a very strong pull and requires, or more often demands our attention to realign our course and follow it. Removing ourselves from our comfort zone launches us into opportunities we never thought possible, forcing us to take work, life and our personal journeys 'to the next level'. I have recently traveled and scouted several locations around the country for a new place to call home. I am excited to announce I will be returning to the Northeast again! But more on where and when in a future blog.

Brooklyn BridgeMe - Hudson, NY

Fredrick Church House - Hudson NYCafe Hon

Fast forward to mid-March, CST+D finally went into production with its first yardage run. An exciting time indeed! Achieving this goal has been so long in the making, that seeing the work professionally produced was a flat out surreal experience. I was reminded of the failures (which were many) and successes, all of the days and nights that rolled into years of printing in my studio. This was a giant milestone and quite the sight to behold. The work was finally heading in the direction of 'the next level'. Not only through the professional manner in which it was printed at this mill, but also the 100% Belgian linen that it is now printed on, re-enforcing CST+D's value of sustainability and conscious design. Screen printing is an intense, laborious and fascinating old school craft. Seeing it on a large scale was a wonderful experience which I will be breaking down, step by step in another future blog. So stay tuned for a behind the scenes tour of how it is made!

   Griswold Textile Print Khema - Screen Print Yardage

Khema - NotesKhema Screen

In addition to the extremely painful (and scary!) hospital stay, putting my beloved house and studio on the market has been an equally painful (and scary!) choice to make. It is the first house I have ever owned as well as the first house I have lived in since I was 12 years old. Jokingly, and lovingly I refer to the renovation as my Masters in Interior Design and Construction. Taking the crappiest property on the block, an old, outdated late 1040's mountain cottage and an old and very nasty chicken barn/potters studio, I designed a dream come true. Or at least it has been for me.

Caitley Symons Home

Before and after open kitchen and dining room.

Caitley Symons Textile House

Before and after images of kitchen. (Below) Complete remodel of guest bath.

Caitley Symons Textile

As many can attest, living in and through a renovation is a very uncomfortable, upside down state of being. However, through this process I had a monmental epiphany: Why did I go into costume?? Why didn't I do set design???! I generally make sure I have very few regrets in life, but walking away from the opportunity to work with award winning Hollywood art directors and production designers years ago... would most certainly be one of them. Though I can not go back in that direction (or can I....???) the renovation, house and studio, played an important role in the direction I have chosen post show biz. I never knew I had a thing for interior spaces, and my design style for fabrics naturally fit the home decor requirements. So, living here has given me a safe, secure and inspiring place to call home and most importantly, a place to find my authentic truth and creative voice. For that I am most grateful.

Caitley Symons Textile

Before and after images of studio workspace (old chicken barn/potters studio).

Caitley Symons

Studio office aka. Mission Control. (Below) Front of studio facelift.

Caitley Symons Textile Studio

My heart broke the day I put the 'For Sale' sign out, but I have learned that true creativity is an bottomless well. I know in time that I can do it again. I just hope the future owners love and appreciate living and creating in this space as much as I have.

Caitley Symons TextileCaitley Symons Textile

On a different note, I am thrilled to have been featured in two regional publications this summer. Carolina Home + Garden shined the spotlight on my fabrics in a lovely article printed in their summer issue. Shortly after that, The Laurel Of Asheville  discussed my designs in a feature about Western North Carolina textile artisans in their August issue. I am extremely grateful to have been included among some of the regions top artisans and the opportunity to spread a little CST+D love a little further into the world. Check them out!

Carolina Home + GardenThe Laurel Of Asheville

As I have begun to down size, pack up and start the process of letting go (while reading Marie Kondo: The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. If you haven't read it yet... do!) I've become aware of also releasing old habits and patterns, thoughts and ideas that are no longer useful. It has been a year of endings, while realigning and making room for new beginnings; Lightening the load and stripping down to the essentials of what really matters and what brings joy. Taking it to the next level.

They say "every 'next level' will demand a different version of you". Once all is said and done, I am excited about what the future holds ... and meeting this 'next version'.

Anyone else experiencing a year of endings, new beginnings and taking it to the next level? Join the conversation below. I'd love to hear from you! xx


Sep 03, 2016

A beautiful heart felt view of life in transition. Congratulation on full filling your dreams, on to your next phase of success.

Sep 02, 2016

I wish you every success. Maybe I’ll come and visit one day.

This year I started running. About 850km so far. Not going to stop. x

Sep 02, 2016

You already know my changes but here I am 3 days in to living in California again. So happy to have made this huge move and am actually relaxing and enjoying some quiet down time. Andrew is away to New York for his nephews wedding so I have the place to myself. The next big step is driving. I’m heading out today to find a bead shop I am interested in. It still makes me nervous as I haven’t driven in quiet awhile but also driving a truck is not my idea of fun. I need to get out though and explore. All is great and I’m so excited to see where this next part of my journey takes me. Can’t wait to hear where yours takes you. Keep going my friend. You have such beautiful work to get out in to the world.

Phillip Rolfe

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