After 34 years in the classroom, I retired five years ago to do what I love — art & craft. I converted one whole room of my house to my studio and that’s my happy place—my sanctuary—my big, bright yellow, very messy, little piece of heaven on earth.
Art & craft runs deep through my veins and is woven into my genes. I guess you could say I got it honest. My grandfather was an artist, a carver, and a locally renowned poet. My great aunt Edith who was totally blind; knitted, crocheted and tatted. My great aunt Virginia was a master seamstress. She taught me to sew when I was 12. I made all my clothes for many years.
I still remember my first craft project. I grew up on a small farm in Southwest Virginia. I had a 120 acre backyard — it was great! On that farm was an apple orchard. One day I picked up some apples and with yarn made a very crude but colorful “apple wind chime.” No, it didn’t make any noise, but I will never forget that feeling of taking something very simple and turning it into something very pretty. Now, some 50 years later, I still get that feeling when I’m in my studio.
I’ve experimented with many techniques over the years. Some were big hits and others were flops. Some of my pieces were put on a shelf only to make a comeback many years later. I stopped sewing when my sons were born but just recently started sewing again for my grandchildren. My grandmother had a floor loom, which I remember well. During a trip back home recently, I found that loom, which has been in storage for more than 50 years. My dream is to one day restore it and learn to weave. She and I have one other thing in common. She passed away of breast cancer when I was small. Read more about that here. Six years ago, I fought my own battle with breast cancer. Thankfully I am cancer free. And now I have a granddaughter. Wouldn’t it be something if one day I could teach her to weave on her great-great grandmother’s loom?