It sure has been a busy month! I am readying for Spring shows, dreaming up new DIYs, and preparing for the Tulsa Art Studio Tour (which I am so excited about! April 12-13 is taking too long to get here!). On top of all of that, I also moved into my very first home with my boyfriend, Rhys! And I thought I'd share some of the handmade pieces that make up a large part of our home and its heart. A wooden silhouette ornament painted by Audrey Eclectic rests against the built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (I was sold on the house as soon as I saw them. Those shelves called out to the bibliophile in me, not to mention the fact that I have a zillion books!).
Not only did my books find a home on these shelves, but so did several other little handmade knick-knacks that remind me of good friends and fun crafty times. I made this Oklahoma string art at last year's Etsy Party hosted by Make:Tulsa!
Along the bottom of our fireplace's mantle is strewn a banner, made from upcycled music sheets, silk ribbon, and vintage buttons from my mom's stash. I sewed & cut this banner ages ago to decorate my apartment for my very first television DIY (with News Channel 6's Laura Moss). Whenever I look at this banner, it brings back to life my nervous excitement & my love for sharing DIYs.
The entire Living Room is chockablock full of handmade goodness:
The little Christmas decorations that I do not have the heart to ever put away after the holidays--a hand carved wooden Snowman & sculpted Santa Claus alongside a tiny crazy-quilted tree with button ornaments.
We have a ton of eclectic, local art pieces. I picked up these stunning canvas prints at Indie Emporium this year from A Wing and A Prayer. Whimsical & beautiful--I wanted them right next to our two big reading chairs where they could be seen, pondered over, and enjoyed!
Of course, there were a few things that I luckily "inherited" along with Rhys. My favorite of which is this stained glass art piece of Batman's symbol made for him by a friend. It sits in our kitchen window and catches the sunshine. I also like to think that it wards away evil-doers.
Our kitchen, also, has lots of handmade pieces scattered throughout:
On the stove hangs tea towels from my dear friend, Christine Sharp-Crowe (weather&noise). I've always admired her aesthetic (which is borrowed from William Morris: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful").
Alongside the stove, on the wall is a mounted bottle opener by A. Whip Designs! It was our first handmade purchase for our new home. (Thanks Okie Crowe for selling these in your righteous store). Rhys loves craft & local beer, so this was a perfect find. And last, but not least, on the pantry cabinet doorknob hangs a little felted purple star made by my sweet friend Holly, of Hollyrocks. I can't wait to start a garden of my own and litter it with Holly's little polymer clay creations, garden stakes, & seed bombs. Perhaps my favorite of all the things that I have ever been made are the quilted wall hangings & table runners by my Grams. I have different ones for every season & holiday. I proudly display her careful stitching and beautiful quilting throughout our home. With a Housewarming Party soon approaching, I have my Welcome Pineapple up on the wall.
Pictured to the right, is a quilted table runner made my Grams (out of her favorite blue floral fabric) and a cedar Hope chest that was built by an old family friend, Tom. He crafted the chest to look like my great-grandmother's, as a thank you gift to me for editing his novel. In it lies quilted treasures galore and handmade holiday ornaments.
So far, one of the best perks of living with Rhys is getting to enjoy his photography all the time. His photos, to me, evoke an intimacy with his subject--whether he is snapping a shot of rural Oklahoma or far-away places that he's traveled. I always feel as if I've learned a secret about that place.
Ok, my dear reader, I am about to get a little gushy. I am so happy that I have found someone that I love this much. I consider myself lucky to have someone who not only supports my work, but is passionate about it too. Rhys has given me the freedom to steampunk anything in the house (what a guy!) and in knowing how much handmade means to me, he makes a point when he gives a gift, that it's handmade. (Like the Star Wars embroidered picture & crochet bear above, made by his friend Heather).
The most meaningful gifts I have received from him, he made himself. Rhys put together this shadowbox & filled it with gears and my favorite of his photographs--a close up of an old gas pump gauge. Today, I added to it: the ticket stub from our first movie date, flowers from the first bouquet he gave me, and other memorable ephemera.
Unpacking, I realized just how much handmade means to me. There are so many pieces strewn about our home that were crafted by people whose stories & art I know and admire. It fills me with joy and warmth. At our housewarming party, I am sure I will tell many stories about the items in our home. And I hope, that those stories will fill everyone who crosses our hearth with the same joy, warmth, and dare I say it...a little wonder to create something too.