Who am I?
Isn't that an interesting question? I'm ever so curious about who people are. Do we all ask ourselves who we are? Who I am... I am someone with a great big ol' personality (which is interesting, since there was a point in my life where I was painfully shy). It seems I am always fighting for the underdog, probably because I felt like one for so much of my childhood. I tend to do an awful lot for others and forget sometimes to do for me as well, but I am working toward a better balance in that. I believe with every ounce of my being that EVERY person is here for a reason. I am a human being. Fallible, resilient, ever changing, amazing, dumbfounding, and constantly creating who I am from all of the pieces from my past, all of the hopes for my future, and all of the lessons of my days. Like everyone else, I am a work in progress.
Very often I am a walking contradiction... case in point, I am deathly allergic to bee stings, and yet, I have tons of plants right outside my back door that attract bees. Very often I sit outside in the early morning hours drinking tea and watching them work all around me. I love science. I believe it proves the magic that exists in the Universe. I hate math, but I end up creating calculations every single day.
I think way too much (I am very often told), I ask way too many questions and am terribly curious. About everything. And I hope that never changes.
As far back as my memory goes I've made things. I grew up at the foot of the Appalachian mountains, in a rural area in Eastern Kentucky. The country is beautiful... rolling hills, deep valleys... the roots and history and traditions of the people who live there go deep into the land. It's an insular area, or it was when I was growing up there. You knew who your kin were, and kin always stood by kin. A man was as good as his word, and if you shook hands on something it was a serious as a signed contract. Because the area had always been so insular, the generations that had come before mine were used to making the things they needed.
In my family we all had a huge gardens. My grandmother had a "little" garden at the foot of the hill in front of her house... the field across the way was the canning garden. During the early summer there were jars of preserves to be made and lettuces to be picked. During the summer, as the cucumbers in the garden ripened, my father's mother would have several crocks of them brining, ever so slowly turning into bread and butter, 21 day, and dill pickles. Those hot summer afternoons when the locust sang their songs seemed to drag on forever.
When harvest time came there was always lots of canning to be done to provide food through the winter. Hogs and cows were slaughtered, their meats frozen. I vividly remember seeing the salt cured hams hanging in the smoke house as they cured. Heck, I have plucked a chicken or two, and know the trick to milking a cow by hand. I've even stripped tobacco, back in the day it was stripped by hand and tied into bundles. The fall was always such a busy, busy time.
But, once the majority of the harvesting season was through, and those long, hot summer days turned into cold, dark winter nights, the business of things seemed to turn to creating beautiful things. Many of the women I knew growing up sewed, and often created patterns, for their own clothes, partially out of necessity, partly for the joy of creating them. Knitting and crocheting were popular pass times, as was tatting. Quilting was a staple. There were even actual quilting bees. There was always something creative going on, something beautiful being created. The elder generation taught the younger generations, and the love of creating was instilled along the way.
Maybe it's because my mother was a "foreigner", she came from Northern Ohio, or maybe because my soul is restless... or for some other reason I don't even understand, I never felt that deep connection to the land and the past generations that so many where I grew up do. While I haven't moved far from there, I did move away,and sadly, I rarely get back there these days. But I have always felt, then as now, a deep connection to the act of making beautiful things. It connects me with past generations and hopefully will with future ones as well.
At 17 I left home for college, married, gave birth to my own children, and set about the task of rearing them to adulthood. Through all of that I was was also making things. At some point along the way I moved away from just making things to designing and creating patterns for those things as well.
I spent 20 years or more of my life designing needlepoint. Early on I worked for someone who chose to claim my designs were hers with not so much as a nod to my own talents. Eventually I did branch out and started creating designs under my own label that has more than 400 designs. Each canvas that I created was hand painted, stitch painted... easy to stitch, tough to paint. I found myself working what felt like 24 hours a day all the days of the week. It left me little time to be a good mother to my youngest, and I eventually decided that was the more important job.
Moving into the "corporate" world I began working in an office. That has allowed me time to mother my children because I can leave work at work and deal with my personal life outside of all of that. The load definitely felt lighter, I became far more relaxed, and could truly enjoy the parts of life that are so very important. While I didn't do something creative EVERY day, this allowed me time to explore more and different areas of creativity. Including blogging, and for the last several years I've been writing A Creative Dream, where I share my art and my creative process.
As always happens though, even that youngest grew up and moved away. Well, she moved about a mile away, her brother on the other hand lives about 8.5 hours away. I currently share my home with the dog, Joe. He's a good old man, but is getting up there in age. He deserves a much better human than me, but he loves me anyway. Could have something to do with all those treats I give him... but then again, it could simply be his beautiful nature.
With my kiddos being gone, and the dog napping most of the time, I suddenly have lots of time to play and explore even more creative venues. That makes for an awful lot of art piling up, and it has to go somewhere. To that end, I've started this site... here you will find my art.
Why do I create art? Why do you and I breathe? Because I have no choice, this is a part of who I am, and frankly, I wouldn't want it any other way. Art is how my soul expresses itself, it's what brings me joy. It feels as though that is what I am living this life to do. On a good day it even adds a bit of beauty to the world.
Pieces that are offered here will generally be one of a kind unless I note that they are part of a series. Try hard as I might, even the items that are one of a series are generally one of a kind as I can never produce the same thing twice. When one leaves part of me goes with it.
I am often asked if I do custom work. The short answer is yes. I will also have a page up that shares with you items that have been created specifically for someone so you will have an idea of that as well. On it you will find everything from birth announcements to life memorials, birthday gifts to wedding announcements... and really a bit of everything in between. If you want a special piece, please feel free to email me.
I do hope you will enjoy this site and the art offered. Please accept my gratitude for looking in...