Thursday, November 21, 2013

Louisville, Lord of the Rings, and Buttons

The buttons are a result of using the entire tree. I have gotten to the point where if I am, or someone else is, pruning a tree, I will look at the end of the branch. If it looks interesting, I take it home. And again, with the faces. When the tree spirits are happy, the Dryads smile.
Your sewing thread becomes the pupil of the eye. -Lindsay E. Frost

While I was at a show this past weekend, wondering around before the crowd, I was drawn to some beautifully hand crafted buttons. The Artist was not at her booth, she must have been wondering around too. I grabbed a card and began daydreaming about her buttons.

I believe we understand each other in a visual language often times better and deeper than other forms of communication, and finding this Artist's buttons is an example of that, and my other belief Louisville is a city that acts as a small town. I had the opportunity to talk to the artist after the show and purchase buttons for my work.

hand woven hemp with acorn/lichen button from Lindsay Frost
I told her upfront what I wanted to do, and showed her one of my hemp bracelets. I also told her I wanted to email her later and get a statement from her for my blog. Deciding I better find out more about this artist before I email her, I visited her website

In her "about" section she says she returned to Louisville to appease her parents, (I returned to appease my ex-husband). She then goes on to talk about her logo and how it relates to using the whole tree. This is my philosophy on many things, for example, when cooking a squash for dinner, I will also save and roast the seeds to go on salads later. In fact I save the seeds from my garden for replanting, and use the dead plants for compost.  Even when weaving I save the scraps of my raffia to weave even smaller pieces, or how I use the card board boxes our food comes in to card my work.

Frost then goes on to pose the question, "Am I a ‘tree hugger’? Most definitely. I love the Ents in the Lord of the Rings. Especially when they picked up their roots and started walking. Just think what trees have been witness much history and the tales they could tell. They most likely know the real story." I had to share this part of artist's website with my husband because he often makes fun of either my tree hugging or Lord of the Rings trivia knowledge (read the trilogy twice, saw the movies over 20 times each). And yes I'm an Ent lover too.
hand spun wool from the Smoky Mountain Spinnery with hand crafted button from Lindsay Frost.

After reading over Lindsay Frost's website and taking a few pictures of how I had combined her buttons with my weaving, I sent her an email asking to give me a specific statement about her buttons. I told her the images I sent were all pieces going to Crafts Gallery that day. She responded by telling me her work was already there, and she, like me, loves the owners David McGuire and Karen Welch.

Blue cotton coiled with hand crafted wood button from Lindsay Frost.

You can find Lindsay E. Frost's work, my work, and the pieces I created with both our effort at Crafts Gallery: a contemporary and traditional art gallery created by Karen Welch and David McGuire in the summer of 2013. Craft(s) features fine artisan craft by local and national artists. Craft(s) Gallery is housed in the historic Guthrie Coke building at 572 South Fourth Street at the corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. In the emerging neighborhood of SOFO, South Fourth Street, Craft(s) is positioned between the renowned Brown Hotel and the iconic Seelbach Hilton Hotel. Another historic neighbor of note is The Palace Theater.

Monday–Saturday: 10am–6pm
Closed Sunday
502.584.7636 (SOFO)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why I love Hand Spun Wool!

I Love Hand Spun Wool! I love hand spun wool for its imperfections, for it's texture, because it comes from nature and a natural process; and most of all I love hand spun wool for it's stories. For example, The wool pictured below came from a young guy I met last weekend at a show in New Albany, IN.
He was 21-years-old, attending a local college, getting ready to transfer to an art school, to study fiber art. He had found an old spinning wheel at a yard sale, in desperate need of repair. He decided he could buy it, fix it, and learn to spin; which he did all based on YouTube videos. (This seems to be the way the next generation is learning, according to several young adults I've met lately.) He had several different types of hand spun wool, including those he had practiced using natural dyes. I ultimately chose this chocolate brown.
This ball of hand spun wool has a different story.

I had never been to Gatlinburg, but wanted to go because I had heard so much about it. After hanging around Pigeon Forge, hiking Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, we made a day trip to Gatlinburg. Fortunately we started on a side street in town, not realizing there was a whole commercial strip of shops. We first encountered The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. If you haven't been, it is definitely worth the trip and $2 admission. It was leaving the Museum that I spotted the Smoky Mountain Spinnery.  After wondering around the shop gazing at their beautiful selection, I asked the woman running the shop to show me specifically the locally spun wool. So that is where this ball of wool came from, which half of has already been turned into "sweater weather" accessories.
I love working with these kinds of materials, because I'm reminded as I work of the fun vacation we had with our five children, the joy of finding the Smoky Mountain Spinnery, and wondering around the shop talking fiber.

And on that note, my favorite place to talk fiber is The Clay Pearl in Nashville, IN. -Not that they spin their own wool, though they have plenty of hand crafted yarns, they love to talk fiber all day, are super helpful, and have many great stories to share of the yarn they carry. Just had to give them a plug here.

Bridgeton Covered Bridge Festival and The RV

One of two pictures taken, while I was at this nationally recognized 10-day festival. The picture was taken by my husband when he came to visit on the last day. It is of the 1878 House Cabin.
If you've never been to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge Festival -it is something to see. Thousands of people, many in planned tour buses, come to this very small, historic town, in the middle of miles of farm land, to shop at hundreds of vendor's booths, and soak in the historic atmosphere.

Upon the urging of my friends, the Stoneciphers, who make hand-made soap and wood carving, I did the show this year, with my 16-year-old son. To get to this show we drove 3.5 hours in our new vintage RV. I was white-knuckling it the whole way, as I had never driven the 26 foot RV before, or anything like it.

My husband and I bought the RV in May of this year, with the agreement he would keep it running, and I would slowly redo the interior. So this festival was an excuse for me to take it out, and this post is an excuse to show what I've done so far.
Here it is, the 1984 Tioga Camper:
The picture below is the bathroom I painted lime green, and made vintage, polyester fabric curtains. The art work in the bathroom is some small wood panel pieces I had done a few years back. In the bathroom, we have collected hand crafted soaps, from regional soap makers, to help make it smell good and aid in feeling luxury when we camp.

This is the master bed for my husband and I. The mattress is probably nicer than most in our house. I found artist, vintage inspired, print fabric pieces at a small shop in Madison, IN so I could piece curtains and a throw pillow to match. I painted the walls light blue, and hand stenciled owls in a row, under the curtain, to give me something fun to look at as I drift off. The quilt was one my grandmother made from a kit. It is of a Dogwood flower design. She made a different one for each of us grandchildren before she died.
For the kitchen and dining area, I painted the base wall bright yellow and hand stenciled a copper fleur-de-lis pattern like wall paper. The clay piece hanging in the kitchen is from artist, Suzanne Edds of Liberty Tattoo and Art Parlor. It reads: "Liberty or Death".

 For the boys sleeping area, I went with lime green walls, and stitched jean curtains.
Some more fleur-de-lis over the door.
No Camper would be complete without a budding art collection inside. Below The Carter Family, by C.M.Laster.
And his wife, Grace Kelly Laster did the Pink Elvis.
I picked up this hand carved Morel Mushroom from Roman Stonecipher at the festival.