The "small meadow" comes from the meaning for my given name, Lesley, which I found in a baby name book twenty-some years ago. I worked in a wonderful book store in the 1980's in  Williamsburg, Virginia. It was the sort of book store with window seats on the second floor, amongst the children's books, and customers who came in regularly and could buy their books "on account". One of the  sections of the store in my charge was the psychology section, which included the baby name books (strangely enough). Each time we got a new name book, I would, of course, look up my name. Most often I was informed that Lesley/Leslie meant "grey fortress" or "from the grey fort". One book
related the meaning as "an old castle wrapped in vines, flowers and memories"...that certainly appealed to my young and romantic self! But then one day, a book came in and I opened to my name and found written "small meadow". Perfect! So I have clung to that meaning ever since.

The "press" is a little more round-a-bout. I never thought alot about having my own business. I grew up thinking I was going to be a teacher....but student-teaching convinced me other wise. After a short, sweet time as a nanny to a little babe, I found work surrounded by books and beautiful papers and great people and was at home. When I met my love and we married and started our family, that was all I wanted. What scope that gave me to explore Life and creativity and every good thing! When my sons were 8 and 4, several passions that I had been exploring-mothering, finding antique treasures of books and papers, hand-carving rubber stamps, the seeking of community-came together in the publishing
of a little quarterly journal I called "The Bower" (an archaic word for home). I was finding so much beauty and helpfulness in the old books and magazines I was reading, especially about home-making, that I needed a way to share it. That little journal struggled along through my recuperation after being knocked down by a truck (a pick-up truck, not the big kind!) and the resulting chronic mono, until I gave it up in early 2001.

So I continued on with healing and loving and celebrating holidays and making traditions and crafting a sweet home-life until early 2003 when a little annuity we had been receiving from a generous grandmother stopped. We needed to supplement the income my amazing husband provided by following his passion for playing music....and so the little seeds that had begun to awaken with The Bower, and been tucked back to sleep after the accident, began to grow again. I don't even remember now exactly how the idea for Small Meadow Press came to me. What I do remember is all the nights I lay awake, in the dark, so full of ideas and excitement.....working out every little detail....thinking of creations and names....until I had to get up out of my cosy bed and head to the computer to design, or find recycled papers, or to read about other women starting their own businesses, too. And when I look back at my life, I do see that it was always paper and ink that I was working with...making pockets and check-out cards for my books as a child, endlessly practicing my hand-writing in my beloved school notebooks, always being the one to make the necessary cards and signs wherever I worked, making our family Christmas cards and paper chains for our home-festivals. And so, "the press"....combining words and images and paper and ink into "beautiful and useful papers for everyday life"-as my William Morris-inspired tag line says.

And taking the plunge has been rewarded with a thriving little business that helps to support our family, brings me great satisfaction and many lovely acquaintances online and face-to-face...and at as little cost to the earth as is possible to manage whilst still creating and offering those creations to the world. I am always looking for better papers, more ecological ways of packaging, alternatives to petroleum-based ribbon.....whatever I can do to consume less and ease the burden put on our dear planet. It has always been my greatest source of inspiration and nourishment, how to honor that gift?

My first logo came from a book on home-making written in the nineteen-teens. This image illustrates a chapter in the book about that feeling of overwhelmedness that comes to us all now and then and recommends the remedy of sitting under the big, empty sky and righting oneself. It has certainly worked for me, and you will find me stretched out in one of our meadows when I have been too long at the computer or when the house or Life is a jumble and I need to get myself in the right frame of mind to deal with it well. Perfection would be inviting my cherished customers to join me in that meadow for a picnic or a tea party....how good that would be! Until that happy day, I hope this website will suffice and that you will spend some peaceful moments here and gather some papery beauties to put in your basket, for gifting others or yourself. 

(This is from my old website...I will update sometime soon!)