Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist and Giveaway: Yorktown Road (aka- Carol Gilbert)

Ahhhh pleats. Nothing just screams classic perfection quite like pleats. I have sewed for years and I still suck at pleats. It's like my Achilles Heel of sewing. Perhaps that's why I so fell in love with Yorktown Road. Carol has so mastered pleats it makes my want to follow her around and learn how to put every other area of my life in such perfect balanced order. Somewhere in all those creases, she also manages to create a feeling of brightly modern, and totally fresh concepts using what my Home Ec teacher referred to as "Pleats: the mark of a skilled seamstress". It's not often do you find something truly interesting in the handbag universe. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom. Carol has offered one KILLER giveaway!

Name: Carol Gilbert
Business: Yorktown Road

Yorktown Road product is also sold in a variety of small shops and galleries in the U.S. and internationally.

The Basics:
Yorktown road is produced in Carol's small workshop. She strives to create designs that are interesting, well made and high in quality. Her product is often freeform in design, as she doesn't try to force it to be a specific dimension or shape. Carol works with fabric and lets it guide her so that each piece has it's own character and personality. Placement of tucks, pleats and other surface detail varies a bit on each item.

Carol lives and works in Northern California with her husband a wonderfully darling little ones. Her favorite materials include linen (which she often hand-dyes), wool, silk, and re-purposed textiles.

1. What five words best describe you?
daydreamer, curious, unconventional, synthesist (my husband said this one), caring-cookie-maker (according to my kids)

2. What five words best describe your work?
textural, colorful, interesting, useful, free-form

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
Doodling. When I was young, I would make very geometric doodles starting with a small triangle or trapezoid and building it out from there. I still do it all the time. Several of my current sketchbook pages have drawings of partial bags that somehow turned into big doodles and many of my texture experiments stem from designs developed through random doodling.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
When I was 17, I took a holiday job at a small boutique. It was a hard-core commission environment and the regular employees were very angry and aggressive and had taken ownership of various areas of the store. They would actually stake claim to specific clothing fixtures. I was regularly placed with the hardest to sell product but somehow managed to have the top sales almost daily which didn’t make anyone happy since I was the temp. It wasn’t a very happy place to work but I learned a lot.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
Full time. Favorite part: Every day is completely different but always what I make of it and decide that it should be. I love doing the work that fits my mood at any given moment whether it’s developing textures, creating colors or finding new ways to give a simple piece of linen a new format.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Find your own voice, your own perspective. Your work should reflect who you are. As you change, develop and grow, so will your work.

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
Each venue has introduced me to some incredible people locally and from all parts of the world which is so great. However, I do a few trunk shows and special events each year and it is so interesting to see people react to the colors and textures. More importantly, I get to see how the pieces look on many different women and how they hold the clutches or place a particular bag on their shoulder. The live experience is so valuable and really helps me build a better product and visual for clients I work with online.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
you tube - I like to watch / listen to acoustic versions of songs while I work. I love videos.
wikipedia - I use this and its thesaurus function daily
craigslist - I always check here for things before going to the store. Love the free listings.

9. Favorite artist?
I really can’t pick just one...
Richard Diebenkorn, Dorothea Lange, Henri Matisse

10. Guilty pleasure?
Sleeping in (I’m a night owl) then heading over to Peet’s coffee.

~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Carol has generously offered one winner their choice of one of the following bags, as seen here, OR the item of their choice from her shop!

- Go to Carol's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in your comment below (no need to leave multiple comments, you'll get an entry for each thing you do, just put it all into one comment)!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.

~~~~~~~~~~ Last Week's Winners: Kelli Lee! So glad we can fill that finger with something happy!  ~~~~~~~~~~


debi said...

Ok, This was tough! This is also the first blog giveaway I've ever entered. Carol, your pleating is amazingly (a word?) creative and beautiful! Since I have an Etsy shop making handbags, it would simply be Blasphemy to carry another designer's bag! LOL. Hence, I have very few, you know the story of the cobbler with no shoes. But that 14 x 14" Starburst pillow in orange would be the perfect compliment for my daughters "Anthropologie" pillows (the only ones she ever bought). They have been impossible to match, the organic form and texture would be perfect! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity, both of you!....debi

carmen said...

This is the most difficult choice I have had to make on what I think is my favorite, but I will decide on the layered pleat bag. I love the chartreuse. Trendy bags are my vice, but they are usually made of leather and I can't wash them! However this looks like an amazing stylish bag, that could possibly be washed! I wish I had 115 to throw on this bag.

Heidi V said...

I love the unique design, fabric and size. I would use this as my everyday bag it would fit everything I carry and would be perfect for going to the library. Following on both Facebook and GFC

heidivargas [at] Live dot com

carmen said...

Oh, and props to Debi's explanation above, I am utterly amazed by this work. I think this is better than anthropologie!

Leigh said...

I LOVE the mum tote - dark teal, I love the color because it would really go with so much, it's pretty without being over the top! And I love how large it is because I am that girl that takes half my life with me wherever I go. Really can you have too many lip glosses! The "mum" style pleats are just amazing!


my little Aura said...


First of all, I just Love her shop, never see it before but probably I'll check it often from now on :)) The sling tote is beautiful and will be the perfect accessory of a mom who runs every day (24/7) after her little ones, that wears t-shirt and jeans almost all the time and needs to feel more fashionable...(lol...I need to do something with my life!!).
I'm following you here and on Facebook, have a nice week!

Brooke said...

The starburst pleat clutch = LOVE!!! I've got the shopped hearted because I AM returning!
shutterboo at gmail dot com

Amber said...

The layered pleat tote is my favorite - it's so cute and I love the texture and it would fit all my textbooks in it too! I would definitely carry it around every day at college. And I'd feel rather stylish and unique for having a one of a kind bag! I'd be sure to tell everyone that I got it from Yorktown Road!
Thank you for the giveaway :)

Amber said...

i follow your blog with google friend connect!
Thank you for the giveaway :)

Nupur said...

I love the mum tote - dark teal the best and here's why: to me, the name "mum tote" is a play on words. Mum is the pretty flower of course, but mum is also the word for mother, and the pleats remind me strongly of my mother. Because my mum lives in India and wears a saree, and the pleats are the most prominent part of a saree. All the pleated bags are just lovely!

nupur.kittur AT gmail DOT com

TopHat said...

The layered Pleat Sling Bags are so cool. I like the orange one. I'm a big fan of bright colors!

hrfarley at gmail dot com

Mer said...

love this:

thanks for the opportunity! Meredith dot Targarona at Gmail dot com

Melissa said...

Love the mum tote - grey because the fabric texture reminds me of a cracked window, in the best way possible!

Also follow on GFC.


Deb K said...

I love the layered pleat bag in chartreuse.

As green is my new favorite color~and how fun is not only the look of this bag but the name? Just say~It "Chartreuse". I can just see the look on my friends faces if I were to win this.When they tell me how cute it is~I can tell them that it is a "Layered Chartreuse Pleat Bag". Won't I sound like a Movie Star?!? LOL

Thanks for the chance to win!


PoodleLady said...

Such a hard decison! Everything in your Etsy store is beautiful.. And I am beyond fascinated to see that every work of art has its own personality and unique identity. My favorite is definitely the Layered Pleat Bag in Chartreuse. Its imperfect lines and "nonuniformity" represent, at least for me, a free spirit and leader's persona. The beautiful green color makes me smile. It's so cheery! :) I can see this bag on my shoulder.. And I also KNOW that I would get compliments and "Where'd you get that?"s on this addition to my outfit! I would gladly tell my friends to take a walk down Yorktown Road! PLEASE keep making beautiful bags and home items! You are such a talented artist.. and your pleating is gorgeous! Thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity!
**I happily follow your blog and facebook page. :)


Anonymous said...

i have been following carol's work for a few years now and it is always inspiring, colourful, textural and beautifully photographed.

my favourite: her repurposed black leather lines zip - the fact she re-uses leather to create an incredibly beautiful purse with true star appeal is a huge bonus. practically dimensioned for all those essential items like a phone, keys and cash/cards. yet inherently stylish and modern. and black! goes with everything and utterly timeless. i could go on and on. :)


Viva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viva said...

I LOVE your layered pleat tote in Orange. It is breathtaking. My love of orange started long ago when I bought an Esprit handbag at Macy's when I was a teen. From that time on orange has been my favorite color. Very few people liked orange..I took pity on the color. Since that Esprit bag my love of orange has stayed, but I haven't had many orange bags since. There aren't that many that "call my name". Your pleat tote is orange. I would cherish it as I did my first love, oops, I mean bag. (Contact info on my blog.) I also follow via GFC. Thanks for the chance!

Starved Fashion said...

my favorite is the small wavy pleats clutch. the color is fantastic! i usually stick with black and other neutrals so this would be a perfect way for me to step out of my comfort zone and add a pop of color in the chicest way.
it looks like the perfect size, too!
karitsaj at gmail dot com

also, i'm following your blog and your facebook page!

monapete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
monapete said...

Too many cute bags to choose from. I always choose plain colors but the layered pleat bag - chartreuse kept catching my eye also the, sling tote - burnt orange was really cute. I would use it for a vacation coming up. It stands out going through security checkpoints (I always worry everyone has the same color purse & that someone will walk off with mine)

Follow on GFC
Follow on Facebook under Mona Cpete

monacart32 at hotmail dot com

Bao said...

This. Is. FABULOUS!!

El visiĆ³n (that's "the vision" in Spanish, kids): This clutch, a light summery sage green dress with a giant black belt, and yellow flats to match the clutch. Of course, giant black Jackie-O glasses to complement the look. Oh yeahhhh...

I'm following your blog & your FB page. Do you like me more now? Eh? Eh? ;)

Taylor B. said...

I actually like the sling tote in burnt orange. It would be perfect for Fall. My cold-weather wardrobe is so different from my the fall/winter I wear dark colored clothing that consist of leggings and long tunics. This bag would really add some color to my outfits while still being great for Fall. The texture isn't soft, either, in the sense that it's got that tough and rough look to it. So perfect! And if I win this bag my husband can't get mad at me since I didn't spend money on it. :)


Rebecca said...

Woot! So glad there is a Yorktown Road giveaway -- I've been following this shop for ages! :)

It's so hard to pick a favorite! If I had the money, I'd buy every single thing you have to sell! However, my new faves would have to be this x pleat tote ( ), or this mum tote ( ). They're both in my very favorite color, and they have such artistic composition! I'm absolutely bonkers for linen, and your designs strike such a nice contrast between the simplicity of the basic, monochromatic fabrics and the more chaotic pleats!

Oh, and I LOVE that you do table-runners now! I want one!

Great shop, great giveaway. Thanks so much for the opportunity!



Sidewalk Chalk said...

This is such a great giveaway -- thank you for hosting this. It was so hard to narrow down my favorite in the shop because everything looks really beautiful. I did love the color of the mum tote in dark pink.

I'm a new follower of your blog.

JoAnn, Sidewalk Chalk

Jen said...

I like the Mum Tote in the dark grey and once again I say why in Haiku....

Hand dyed linen tote
Your beauty knows no bounds
Needing a great tote

Nicole said...

I love the layered pleat bag in chartreuse. I don't have a lot of extra money to put into my wardrobe, so I like dressing up what I do have with bags and other accessories to create different looks. The style of this bag is timeless, so I could use it for years, while the color will add that "pop" to any outfit. As a mom of two little ones, I may be wearing a bit of baby food or drool, but at least my bag will look flawless! Even a busy mom deserves to look stylish :)

nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

Angie said...

I love the x pleat tote! My etsy ID is Cantrix :)

Celeste said...

Oh my goodness. I am in absolute love with this shop!! My favorite? Well - I have a few - but... I adore the layered pleat zip top bag (in the gray). First of all ... love the layering of the material. So delicate - yet bold!! I also love how the bag is not too big (perfect for my petite self)...but definitely big enough to hold all of my stuff! I have really been loving gray lately ... especially when paired with mustard yellow. This would be the perfect bag to use with really any outfit! Casual jeans/t-shirt outfits, sun dresses, dressy .... I'd love to add this to my new "school year wardrobe" (I teach kindergarten) -- too, too perfect!

NGS said...

I love the sling tote in burnt orange. The shape and the color remind me of fire and I can imagine taking this to a campfire filled with s'mores fixings!
cheatingpiggies at hotmail dot com

Catherine said...

Wow, what a talented artist! I really respect a shop that has a consistent look and feel, but can offer variety. Everything in her shop belongs, but there's something for a date night with my husband, a beach trip with my boys, or a shopping afternoon with my mom. Lovely!

My favorite item in the shop is the "layered pleat zip top bag". At first, I was drawn to the beautiful heathered grey {a favorite of mine}, but upon looking closer I really fell for the way the texture is reminiscent of waves. It's like an understated "beachy" something a casual, but stylish California gal would carry. *swoon*

In terms of its functional appeal, I love that it's roomy enough for not only my goodies, but the things two little guys demand a mommy carry...and that there is a zipper for added security.

Stunning shop! I'm off to drool some more.

CatherineMarissa on Etsy - - and I'm a new follower, too!

Tara said...

I really like the sling tote for many reasons, one being that it looks unique and yet natural. There is so much going into the design of this bag and yet it is not overpowering. It is simple and natural feeling, something that I would want to take everywhere with me. It looks sturdy and big enough to carry all the items I lug around with me everyday. Also my favorite color is orange so it's nice to see a designer that is not afraid to make a statement with colors! Great Etsy shop!

Jenn said...

Excuse me, Teacher?

(waves hand madly)

Ummm...there are a lot of very wonderful things in this shop and I cannot possibly decided on only one, no.

What? I have to? Oh, my.

(goes back to shop, wipes more drool off of keyboard)

Okay I like the

The color l like best is naturalpinktealorangechartreusegreengolden.

Oh, and I also want to add (where appropriate) zipstrapwallet.

I hope that's precise enough. :)

lolamichele said...

Everything in this shop is really incredibly beautiful, and it is a tough decision, but I would choose this: layered pleat bag - chartreuse. Firstly because my favorite color is green, but mostly because it is both casual and elegant and would take me through several seasons without looking out of place. really impressive shop.

boswife @ gmail . com

mframe said...

I love the mum tote - dark pink. I love this because I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and nowdays I am buying everything in pink! It also makes me feel more girly (I'm bald right now) to have and wear pink!

eclairre said...

My favorite item was the Starburst Pleat Petite Zip! I have no idea how you made it all scrunchy like that, but I absolutely adore it!! It is so unique. I'd pick grey; it'd match any outfit :D

Champagne Wisdom said...

What a great giveaway - such unique bags!! I'm loving the
layered pleat zip top bag
- too cute!

jamieandandre at bellsouth dot net

Champagne Wisdom said...

I'm a new follower - yay!

jamieandandre at bellsouth dot net

Linda Kish said...

I like the look of the starburst pillow.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Christina said...

Christina - - I love the Mum Tote in Dark Teal - but if I won I'd really love the Burnt Orange Tote giveaway!

Diana D said...

x pleat tote was really attractive. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

very married said...


This one is my favorite for two reasons. First it's definitely big enough to carry all of the stuff that i carry BUT not so deep that i have to jump in head first to find said stuff. Second, those pleats are so girly without being sickly sweet.

Also, I'm studying for the NY and NJ bars right now and new bag would certainly cheer up my dull basement-of-the-law-school-library life!

phrannie said...

my fave is the Layered Pleat Bag in Chartreuse - such a lovely color! it goes with a lot of clothing i have, and the texture is so much fun. it's kinda crunchy, like me 8) i love everything in the store, i hearted it!!

phrannie said...

GFC follower

Karen said...

I love the pillows, but I had to pick the xpleat carryall as my favorite. As a very beginner seamstress, the pleats amaze me, and I love the color. My job at a residential maternity home requires me to sleep overnight once a week, and carrying my things in this gorgeous bag would make that night seem more like a fabulous getaway, and less like a night away from my family alone in a twin bed!

Daph said...

oh pleats!! yes!! I like this one best
because its eyecatching and functional. I live in a wonderful part of town, full of small businesses that I always put first and support.
I also walk to and from town and this bag would be a conversation starter and I could fill it full with goodies I buy at all the wonderful shops, art/handmade stores and farmers market.

Candy said...

I'd pick the Layered Pleat Sling in Natural or Burnt Orange (if possible). I'd present this to my mom as an appreciation gift at my wedding next year. Mom has always put her children first, before herself, and never really treated herself any nice clothing or accessories. This bag is simple and elegant, and I think she would appreciate the modern look of it! ^_^

Kim said...

I like the layered pleat tote and why because it has my niece's Brittany's name screaming out of it. This would make an awesome Christmas gift for her!


L said...

I like the pleated starburst clutch

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynsi said...

I absolutely adore the X-pleat Carryall ! It is so chic and sophisticated yet artsy. You can wear it casually or all dolled up.

I have another extra large bag and at this rate, not sure how much longer it will last. But somehow no matter which bag I use or whatever the occasion I can always manage to fill a handbag! It has endless uses - from an overnight bag to carrying art supplies, to packing makeup/camera/umbrella, along with many random items for an average day.

This bag would be a staple to my wardrobe and assist in helping me drag my art along wherever I go. I would feel confident and proud to show off your art everyday !!

Thanks so much,

Jennifer said...

oh my GOODNESS! i have been in love with york town road for a couple of years now - her work is just phenomenal! i have yet to buy anything yet, so it would be amazing to win something! i love her layered pleat bag - although it's really hard to just pick one!

as for the why..... carol's work just screams to me - everytime i look at her shop, i feel the need to buy it all. it's creative, unique, the colors are wonderful - there's just not enough good that can be said about it. but, the bottom line is that i would make her bags look good. actually, GREAT! :)

my email is jakelley.sadler (at) gmail {dot} com
i'm now following your blog & fanned your fb page! so glad to have found your blog! :)

Lynsi said...

Now following your blog !! And on Facebook :)

Lynsi said...

Retweeted your contest and tweeted about Carol's fabulousness and website. Also, hearted the shop!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I love the layered pleat zip top bag. It reminds me of something my sister-in-law would get and I would covet because she is so much better at finding uniquely beautiful items than I am. For once, she'd be the one pining over the purse I had!! And, it is absolutely beautiful!
lifewithjding (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

How beautiful!

I would love the layered pleat zip top bag in burnt orange. What's not to love about this bag? The color is amazing (actually all the color choices are). The pleating is fun and totally unique. And I'm a spaz, so the zipper would come in handy for me, since at any given time you can find me carrying a random assortment of things in my bag including: change that never made it's way back into a wallet, eggs from my chickens that need to be gifted to neighbors or coworkers, important documents for school (I'm in the scary process of applying to nursing school).

katies (dot) towers (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Oh! And I'm following you on google reader!

Cassie said...

I adore the X-pleat Carryall!

13cls13 at gmail dot com

Cassie said...

I'm a follower!

13cls13 at gmail dot com

Julia said...

I'd love the layered pleat zip top bag in chartreuse. Aside from the nice wide shape and zip to make it easy to dig through and keep things inside, all those layers of brilliant acid green remind me of the mosses that grow so prolifically around the west coast forests I spent most of my life in. I love lush growing things, and moss is one of my favourites. Now that I'm up in the northern interior, anything that gives me that happy reminder is precious. Maybe after this winter, the same bag in dark grey will remind me of the river under ice!


Cimmy said...

I love the 'Silk Starbust Clutch'! The flower is gorgeous and love the spiralling detail, and I like that it's quite roomy and long enough to fit sunglasses and makeup. My best friend and I will be going to a fancy restaurant for his birthday next month, and it's the perfect occassion for the clutch! I find it very elegant and classy, and I definetly won't feel out of place at the restaurant. I'll be checking back to see what other wonderful items Carol comes up with!


Cimmy said...

also following your blog!


Steph said...

Love the Mum tote in Dark Pink - so cute!! It's different yet classic at the same time. Would be great for carrying around with my errands!

sncaruso [at] optimum [dot] net

mruna said...

I love the wavy pleats small golden clutch! simply because the color appeals to me and I love the texture the pleates create! Since a clutch is the most likely thing to be held in your hand it would really be a feel good thing to have a texture like this!Plus i love the shadows the twist in the pleats create;they balance out the black zip very well!


The Spears Family said...

I really love the mum tote in dark teal. When I saw the thumbnail photo of this particular piece I thought it was actually a top elegantly made and drapped on a manequin. This piece is just says "Stylish. Classy."

slblog said...

I like the x-pleat carryall. It's unique, I could wear it to dress up any outfit (especially jeans which are my fav to wear)!


slblog said...

GFC follower, slblog


Perlim Pim Pom said...

my favorite x-pleat carryall the color is fantastic!
it looks like the perfect size, too!
is just gorgeous!!!!
I love the texture!!!
also, i'm following your blog

Anonymous said...

I love the starburst pleat clutch ( The green color is spot on. Today's my birthday and it would go perfectly with the dress I have picked out for my birthday party next week.


illana Burk said...

Thanks all! Entries are now closed:)