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Americana Folk Art Portrait

   During my last trip to New England, we drove up to Bennington, VT for the day to see the museum there. With us was my good friend Patricia, a Bennington College alum, and a perfect guide for our time there!
   My original desire to visit The Bennington Museum was to see their collection of Grandma Moses works (which, sadly, could not be photographed....but believe me! Its a gorgeous collection, and even includes the table she painted on!)
   While visiting the rest of the museum's collections though, I found that they have an amazing collection of folk art! Wonderful old toys, gadgets, pottery and household objects, but oh my--- their folk art paintings! They were stunning!

   Ever since my visit there, I have had a renewed interest in Early American portraits and seek them out where ever I can when I'm in an antique shop or a museum. There is no way I could ever afford a real one....But I can paint them!
   My love for Early American portraits inspired me to create this painting, that I decided to call "Mrs. Hawthorne." Whoever buys her can give her her first name:

   Currently she's on display at Blue Heron Mercantile in Jenks, OK. but I've also got her listed in my etsy shop for any out of town buyers. She measures 18x24, so its a large painting. The sides are painted black so the canvas can be hung unframed, but I think she'd look simply gorgeous with an old fashioned frame on her!

    This spring I hope to offer even more Americana inspired folk art, and already have some on my painting desk to finish up! So please come back soon to visit and see what's new!~

A Curious, Homespun Year

   I have always had a deep love for 'old timey things.' My grandma used to tell me I was born 100 years too late. I was always your go-to gal if you wanted to look through old photos. I played with many a faceless Amish doll in my mom's country decor collection, although my heart really belonged to Kirsten and Felicity.

  I dont know if it was my finally getting pretty comfortable around my knitting needles, or my finding a spinning wheel and working on my first quilt or what, but these days I find myself more and more drawn to homespun arts, the history behind them, the way they're made, and retaining that old fashioned knowledge people in yesteryear just had.
  Im not excited about a world of complete automation, or cheap goods made in faraway places with sketchy origins, or not knowing how to function in the world without a phone or electricity. I also think that handmade things, including their imperfections or simplicity are just nicer. They feel better to touch, are more pleasing to the eye. And when someone gives you something they've made, you know that time and energy was spent on this gift.

  Not that I havent enjoyed my share of clicking on Amazon and getting something in two days with prime shipping. Lord knows, I do it. But I'm looking for opportunities in life and the objects of my home, to be a little more....homespun.

  So that is my goal for 2017. Make stuff. And not even shoot for being an expert in anything--- just proficient. Good enough. Well rounded. Curious. But make, and get to know others who make. To make use of vintage items, to reuse and repurpose. To highly prize things made by people for an honest wage. To learn from our grandparents. Be open and kind. Curiosity. I keep going back to that.

   In 2017 I am curious, and I am making new things. Please join me here, for these little adventures. And thank you, as always, for being so sweet--- buying my art---- giving me your time. I appreciate it so much!~

Valentine's Day Update!

  Hello there, and happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
I wanted to pop by and let you know that I've listed lots of new goodies in my etsy shop in anticipation of St. Valentine's Day.
  I am also really excited to share with you my first knitting pattern, for a little hat I've called "The Cranford Bonnet"-- inspired by old fashioned baby bonnets in sweet old photos and paintings.

  Please visit my etsy shop to see all the items for sale!~

St. Valentine's Day Shop Update on Monday!

   Wanted to let you know--- I'll have a few new sweet treats in my etsy shop this coming monday, many of them perfect for Valentine's Day!
  I am also going to offer my first pattern, which you can buy as a PDF file and Im also going to be offering some bonnets, already made and ready to wear!

Cant wait to share it all with you!~

Happy New Year

   Good morning!~
    Ah, here we are....a fresh new year. Hello, 2017! It is my hope that this new year is full of unexpected hope and opportunity, with lots of adventures and discoveries and new things to try, and new friends to meet.

   I am still in the metamorphosis stage of "Sleightholm Folk Art." Im still trying to figure out exactly where I want to do and what I want to do, but I've decided its ok to not have it all planned out....its a great chance to try new things and not feel hemmed in by 'what I've always done' or playing it safe. There will be trial and error, success and failure and it's all just fine.

Crafting lately:
   I've really been enjoying my time at my spinning wheel and making yarn, and also creating some sweet little knitted caps. I had an idea to make a really sweet, old fashioned bonnet for little ones. Something that looks straight out of Cranford or Larkrise to Candleford. I am working on refining the pattern and hope to share it in my shop very soon....as well as some already made, ready to order little caps.
   I LOVE making little hats! And both my kids are now in that "I'm not wearing anything mom makes" stage. Ah well, I will find unsuspecting babies elsewhere who will wear them ;) because they're just too fun and sweet NOT to make.
   At Christmas I cuddled up with a braid of roving my friend Winnie brought me all the way from England! It is...so luscious. That's the word for it. Its so soft and fluffy and dreamy, the color the perfect moody gray/brown, like a winter day on the moor (I'm guessing here, ha, I've never seen a moor....but heather grows there, so it must be amazing, right?)
   Now I just have to decide what I'm going to make with it...but I know one thing, whatever it is, I'll be selfish and keep it for myself ;)

  Around the House:
     Taking down Christmas and getting to that bare quiet of early January. I know technically I could keep it all up til Epiphany...but I'm of the mind to put it out/take it down when you're in the mood, and I was in the mood to get the whole house cleaned out last week, so down it all came. Good thing I guess, because our littlest has a tummy bug now. Hoping he's all better by the time preschool starts again. Christmas break can be very very long, can't it? ;)

On the Painting Table:
   Nothing yet....but I'm scheming! Ready to get going on some fresh new projects! Haven't been able to get out in the studio for all of Christmas break, honestly. I'm missing it terribly. I know when I finally get to sit down in my chair and dip in my brush, it's going to be a happy moment to be savored!

  And so...that's all for now! But I will be back very soon with more news and creations! Wishing you a very happy New Year!~