What Handmade Means To Me


Throughout many many years I have met hundreds of crafters, artisans and creative people, from Maine to Florida to California, who have a deep desire and passion to create beautiful things.

 

Mama and her chicks. Made by Pat Croy.

I’ve cherished this family since approximately 1993, Made by Pat Croy

Raven by Pat Croy

This raven was made by Pay Croy. I believe it was made from marble dust, I have no idea how she made him.

Crow profile

Just love the dry corn around his neck.

Crow Profile

He appears to be made from a mold

 

Each and everyone has something in common. The desire to create something. It simply didn’t matter what medium they worked with. They took pride in what they were doing. It is a fulfilling feeling when pieces come together and something new and wonderful emerges.

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This woven runner was made by Marilyn Krug. The barnyard animals are made from paper mache. Each is signed and dated by the artisan.

I know firsthand the struggles, the triumphs, the failures, and lessons learned. Maybe that could be why I appreciate the effort, blood, sweat and tears that have been woven into a finished project.

When something is handmade it comes with a story. An actual person is behind the object. It was not mass produced in a factory over seas. There are not thousands upon thousands of exact duplicates. It is unique. Perhaps the artisan made 50 of the same thing, it’s still handmade by a real person – not a machine.

Today I celebrate all my fellow artisans and crafters. Those I know, have met and yet to meet. I love the stories behind my treasured pieces and strive to have a story with many of my own creations.

I don’t know of a National Hug an Artisan Day, so let’s make everyday a day to celebrate all who Create and Inspire.

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This painting holds extra sentimental value to me. This is the house my mother and uncle were born in. Someone painted this on this wooden plate about 70 years ago. The years have been good to it. The paint hasn’t lost it’s color while age has given the wood a beautiful patina that can’t be duplicated. The woven runner was also made by Marilyn Krug.

Do you have a favorite hand crafted item? Perhaps something you’ve made.

Please share it in the comments below – I’m looking forward to seeing your favorite creation and story behind it.

Make this a great day and be blessed, Sheila

 

 

Taking A Chance On Myself Transformation – Reinvention


Freedom, Security, Peace, Growth

Have you ever felt frustrated, irritated, disappointed and a whole bunch of other adjectives all at the same time?

Well I have had that unpleasant feeling for too long. And needed to do some investigating as to the source and what needed to be done. It basically revolved around life, insecurities and the dire need for perfectionism.

I had been letting life get in the way of my dreams, desires, passions, goals and so much more.

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The long dreary road. Exactly how my spirit felt.

As for Life: Some things may or may not get better. I’ve been dealt some challenges that were overwhelming, which will be shared in an uplifting way in another post.

When I paused from life, I began to think about what was missing in my life. This is the time of year (originally written in Jan 2017) many create and plan new years resolutions, yet most fail.

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When forsythia is in bloom, spring is certainly underway. It’s a time of rebirth, renewal and joy. A country road in Connecticut.

I can’t resolve anything until I took an honest look at my life.

When I did, I realized it was “JOY”. My life had become so routine and heavily stressed that I was sinking deeper and deeper into a dark place. Now It was imperative that I focus on me. On my future. What I wanted and needed to do with the years I have remaining.

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The site and sound of of a running brook make me smile. I love the textures of nature. The shades of green. The moss on the rocks. I love to look at the pictures from back home in New England. They bring joy to my heart and smiles to my soul. I feel good. I feel happy. Looking into these pictures it’s the details that make this so special.

Antique Wagon Wheel

Just a wheel melded into nature – the perfect still life. Meandering down a path is relaxing. Listening to the sounds of nature, the breeze in your hair, the crunching under your feet. And then you discover a rusted and well used wagon wheel entwined in nature. (Sigh…)

Surely many can relate to putting family and loved ones first and at the end of the day, all you want to do is put your feet up and rest.

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Robin eggs – a sure sign of renewal

The question is, what happened to joy, how do I find it again. The more I focused on the things I loved – the ideas were like a waterfall, just flowing from my mind. It was wonderful!

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Nothing like the smell of spring and the sound of rushing water. Somewhere in Connecticut.

Make this a great day and be blessed, Sheila

How Pinterest Saved My Life


Yes, it’s true, Pinterest did save me!

Let me back track a little bit. For the better part of the past 25 plus years of my life I had been surrounded by the things I love, the people I care about and used to do things with on a regular basis. I had perfected my craft. My work was known throughout the Prim community in Connecticut and surrounding area.

Autumn Open House at Tessier's, Changes of Thyme

Penny rug style wall hanging. Saltbox and Willow Tree

On any given day of the week I could roam through a prim shoppe, or hang out with my prim friends who shared the same interests. We would sit outside on the porch drinking coffee and I would stitch away while my friends would work in there gardens. Winters were spent by the fireplace.

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Sitting by the brook working on a wool journal cover. I’m loving the tansy and my feet in the cold water!

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Stitching on the porch – what a view!

Weekends we would go to an outdoor flea market, plot our tag & barn sale ventures as we caroused up and down and around the winding back roads and later marvel at the treasures we had found.

It was wonderful!!!

Why on earth did I move to Florida???

Well I did, for now I am here making the best of it.

But honestly, if one more person asks me why my stuff looks so dirty. Or why I soak my stitcheries in coffee and dry them in the oven, I just may scream. Most definitely I am the odd one here.

Made me quite sad to be honest. But, I’m here, so I will make the best of it. Give it all I’ve got. I can sew. There’s a lot of things I can do. I just need to re-invent myself. Or so I thought. Long story short – it wasn’t working. I was just growing sadder and sadder.

And then one day about 3 years ago, I discovered Pinterest!

There were people out there, everywhere who had the same interests and likes as I did. I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. On a daily basis I would discover more and more people, boards and interests the same as mine were. Quickly I became inspired. It wasn’t long before I picked up my embroidery and started to stitch again. All of the ideas and inspiration out there in pin-land slowly began to lift my spirits.

The more I saw, the more I became unsettled with myself. What I was doing was not enough for me.

I was returning to life again. The walls needed paint and they got it. I was feeling happier. My sewing machine came out of hibernation. It was humming a glad tune once again.

So yes, Pinterest really did save me! It stretched me. Encouraged me. I remember when I had my first few followers. How exciting that was. My boards have grown. I now have many group boards pertaining to varied interests. At the moment of typing this, over 34,000 followers. But the best part is, I have met some fantastic friends there!

Do you have an interesting Pinterest story or experience? Please leave a comment in the comment section. What you have to share could be what someone needs to hear.

Make this a great day and be blessed, Sheila