Category Archives: Artists

Carolyn’s Handmade Gifts

My Aunt Carolyn has been sewing clothes for herself, her 4 daughters, and her grandchildren for as long as I can remember.  Although her daughters are now grown and her grandchildren are no longer “little ones”, she continues to sew the cutest outfits and all sorts of other items from purses to blankets.

I pulled a few photos from Aunt Carolyn’s Facebook page to post here.  Check out these and all her handmade gifts.  She’s on Facebook as Carolyn Merchant Lawrence.

Christmas Jumper with Pants
Fall Jumper with Pants
another Christmas Jumper with Pants
If you can dream it, Aunt Carolyn can sew it.
She’d love to help with your Christmas gift-giving!

My Creative Middle Sister

I was hoping to have some new pieces of pottery to show you by now, but my glaze tests just haven’t yielded the results I was hoping for, so my bisqued wares continue to sit prettily on the shelf, under plastic because I’ve already waxed them and wiped them down in preparation for glazing.

Instead of pottery photos, I thought I’d share some photos taken at events planned & catered by my creative middle sister.  I have been blessed with 2 creative sisters and a creative mom.  More about my baby sister and my mom in future posts.  Oh, and I have yet to share thoughts with you about my other amazing grandmother!

Back to my middle sister.  “Events By Design” is the business owned by middle sister, Glenda Alman, and her friend, Margaret Baggett.  I can’t believe how these 2 ladies make organizing so many types of events look easy, but I know how hard they work to make every event special.

Isn’t this beautiful?  I could place those exact same items on that exact same table & it would look all wrong.  Catering was NEVER my cup of tea, not when I was growing up with a catering mom and not now that I have a catering sister.  My brain just isn’t organized that way.

Just thinking of all the planning and cooking and coordinating and setting up and breaking down gives me a headache, but all these things come naturally to my sister.  She thrives on it.

Whether the occasion is formal…

or casual…..she never bats an eye.  I’m sure it helps that she works with a very dear friend.  Margaret and Glenda complement each other and that’s exactly as it should be.

These girls know that the tiniest details are important.  You need special lighting or staging or maybe a sound system for your event?  Well, Glenda’s husband, Buck, and her sons Buck and Dusty have their own lighting and sound businesses.  Yep, a great collaboration of talents in that family.  (Speaking of talents, the girl can also paint and sew and play handbells!)

Here’s an example of some of the delicious food they prepare and serve.

Isn’t this fruit beautifully presented?
Cheese, looking elegant and delicious.

If you have a celebration, a wedding, or any type of special event coming up, you should ring up my middle sister.  She can take a load off your shoulders.  You can contact her through my Facebook page or send me an email and I’ll put you in contact with her.  Love you, Middle Sis.

Mama Agnes

I feel so blessed to have grown up with 2 sets of wonderful grandparents.  My grandfathers were  pretty amazing in their own right, but it was my grandmothers who helped fuel my passion for making things.

I wish I had more photos of their creations, but in my younger years, I didn’t see the importance of documenting those things that one day would be lost forever.  When you’re young, you can’t imagine that anything ever will change.  But change they do, and you wish you’d paid more attention and had had more conversations and had asked more questions…questions like, “What was my daddy like when he was a kid?” and “Where did my mother’s black hair come from?” 

My mother’s mother, Agnes Dorothy Holmes Bates, or Mama Agnes as we knew her, was always making something or growing something.  I’ve never met anyone with quite the green thumb she had.  I do believe she could have planted a rock & it would have grown & bloomed the most beautiful blooms you ever beheld.  Then, she would have taken those blooms & effortlessly arranged them into beautiful flower arrangements to be enjoyed for days.

I remember specifically that she enjoyed making Christmas ornaments, little felt ornaments with lots of sequins & glitter & seed beads.  I have an old gift box filled with materials she used to make these ornaments. Sometimes, I pull it out and sit on the floor in my studio and look through it, remembering walking into her house in the wintertime, seeing Mama Agnes sitting at the dining table surrounded by all her ornament-making supplies, a big pot of soup merrily simmering on the stove.  Inevitably, she invited me to sit with her and help with whatever part of the ornament she happened to be making at the time.  Such wonderful memories!

When she was in her 60’s, Mama Agnes decided she wanted to learn to oil paint.  These are some of her paintings I have hanging in my home. 

She took lessons for several years from a sweet lady named Violet.  I wish Violet could know how special she was to Mama Agnes and to so many other “little ladies” she taught.

 At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom & I accompanied her a couple times to paint & visit.
 Her paintings weren’t “original” or “artsy”, but Mama Agnes derived hours of pleasure in creating them & we family members still derive much pleasure from having them in our homes.
 I think we should all be so brave as to tackle something new, just because we always wanted to.