NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for May 2003
Welcome to Creative Hands!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o May Featured Craft: A Grandmother's Legacy by Judith Dragon
o May Featured Needle Crafter: Char Hofer
o May Artisan Shop Sampler
o May/June Show Sampler
o A Special Thanks
o Share Creative Hands With A Friend
MAY FEATURED CRAFT: A GRANDMOTHER'S LEGACY BY
My Grandmother's sewing room was a wondrous place! Nestled in
every nook and cranny, every shelf and trunk, every basket and
box were buttons, ribbons, rickrack, lace, spools of thread and
pieces of material. Grandma's old Singer sat in an upstairs
dormer window looking out over the front lawn so she could keep
an eye on things as her sewing machine whirred, its needle just
a blur to a child's eye. "What would you like me to make?" she'd
ask. Invariably I answered, "A doll dress!" We'd rummage through
the material to find just the right color. Like magic, it
seemed, a beautiful doll dress trimmed with lace and ribbons and
fastened with fancy buttons appeared.
Only later did I fully appreciate all she had given me. Beyond
the doll clothes, the Easter dresses and favorite cowgirl
costume, her greatest gifts were the love of sewing, of making
things with my own hands, of doing a job well.
I can remember the first doll dress I ever made, a circle of
green plaid seersucker with a hole cut in the center and two in
the front to slip over a tiny doll's head. A strip of material
tied around the waist gave the dress shape. No, it wasn't sewn,
but it was mine! When my mother died, I found she had saved my
first real sewing project, a heart-shaped potholder
hand-finished with blanket-stitching and a plastic ring. I made
it when I was four.
As I grew up I sewed. Then college, marriage and family and
full-time work almost ended it all. During 35 years of teaching,
my sewing projects were tucked between family and English
teacher tasks. Too many were left unfinished!
Then my life changed. I was blessed with grandchildren! Now I'm
the one making doll dresses for my granddaughters. I am
following in the footsteps of my grandmother and her
grandmother, who owned a milliner and tailor shop in London.
Ruby Lane has given me a place to open my own shop. I design and
sew doll clothes as well as household items. My sewing room, an
octagonal second story on our garage, is filling up with those
very things I loved in my grandmother's sewing room, some of
which were left by her. On the wall hangs my potholder, a sweet
reminder of a grandmother's legacy.
For quality, carefully handmade doll clothes visit Judith's shop
at Grandman's Sewing Room.
MAY FEATURED NEEDLE CRAFTER: CHAR HOFER
I suffered sticker shock when I recently went shopping for a new
sewing machine complete with all the bells and whistles for my
cottage custom sewing business. As a professional seamstress, I
have been sewing on my trusty machine for well over 20 years.
Embroidery sewing machines for $5000! Patterns at $15 or more!
Thread for $3! Surreal? Or commonplace? What a difference ten
or twenty years can make to alter our arts and crafts
perspective! You'll find my designs at All Things Beautiful on
Of course, I started sewing 'complete' articles of clothing when
I was in my teens on a straight-stitch-only sewing machine; so,
much of the advancement comes as no surprise. About the time
the major pattern houses started their rapid ascent in pricing
(a few dollars for patterns were no more), I discovered it was
thriftier to shop a good mall sale for my fashion finds and
mainly sewed for the pleasure of it.
While having not given up the sewing craft, I now focus on fun
projects, using fabrics from unusual sources such as cutter
quilts and vintage linens. Most notable are my vintage
pillowcase 'dolls' (complete from one case) and mini-quilts done
in a variety of country colors and unusual prints. Attention to
detail and neatness are the cornerstone in my work.
Vintage chenille children's outfits and accessories bring a new
venue this spring to my sewing table, which allows me to explore
colors, styles and work my creative impulses at my machine.
Custom work is exciting for me with its many challenges. My
latest venture has been to create a little girl's dress with a
doll to match using a customer's own linens and style ideas.
These make great gifts!
I invite you to take a moment to view my designs which are
showcased at All Things Beautiful.
MAY ARTISAN SHOP SAMPLER
The following shops feature hand-sewn items:
Country Girl Collection
The Tack Trunk at Starting Box Designs Co.
Mrs. Wiggs Treasured Heirlooms
Very Creative Creations
Stevi'sStuff Baby, Bear & Basket Boutique
MAY/JUNE SHOW SAMPLER
Here's a list of upcoming shows around the U.S. featuring fine
art and handcrafted items:
May 29-Jun 1, 2003, Quality Art and Craft Show, Acadiana Mall,
May 30-Jun 1, 2003, 100 American Craftsmen, Kenan Arena,
Jun 5-6, 2003, Old Saginaw City Art Festival, Old Saginaw City
Historic District, Saginaw, MI
Jun 5-7, Gallery of American Craftsmen, Fort Washington Expo
Center, Fort Washington, PA
June 6-7, 2003, Bluegrass Festival and Craft Fair at Shepherd of
the Hills, Branson
Jun 7-8, 2003, Living History Farms Craft Festival, Living
History Farms, IA
Jun 13-14, 2003 Blue Plum 2003 Arts and Music Festival,
Downtown, Johnson, TN
Jun 14-15, 2003, Old Town Art Fair, Old Town Historic District,
Jun 14-15, 2003, American Crafts Festival, Lincoln Center for
the Performing Arts, New York, NY
Jun 21, 2003, Highland Park Festival of Fine Crafts, Highland
Jun 27-28, 2003, Boston Mills Artfest, Boston Mills Ski Resort,
A SPECIAL THANKS
The editor of Creative Hands is Ruby Lane Artisan shop owner
Carol Augustine, with additional participation from our growing
and diverse community of artisan shops.
You can visit Carol Augustine's shop, specializing in fine
custom crafted jewelry, miniatures, art and home decorative
accents, at All Things Beautiful
SHARE CREATIVE HANDS WITH A FRIEND
Did you enjoy this issue of Creative Hands? Do you know others
who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you to forward this
issue to those you know who also appreciate and enjoy arts &
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