My Folk Artist Friend

I plan on spotlighting some friends who are in the arts and crafts movement. The first one is a dear friend that I have had since we were members in the West Chicago Mother’s Club back when our children were young. Our lives have gone through many changes and we lost touch and then we would touch base on occasion. The friendship has remained and we can pick up right where we left off. I think we all have someone like that in our lives.

Karen has always been a talented sewer. Years ago we did craft shows together and her items were always big sellers. Her work has shifted into folk art and it’s beautiful. When I went to her home to talk about posting her work I asked her how and when she took an interest in sewing. She told me of when she was in grade school her mother taught her how to sew. The way that she did so I find to be very interesting. Karen said that when she was in school her mom would give her simple shapes to “sew” without thread in the needle of the sewing machine. Karen started getting into sewing more when she began sewing clothing for her children. It then blossomed into her craftwork.

It was a cold and snowy afternoon when I got to Karen’s. After taking off my coat and scarf, and while waiting for a warm cup of coffee, I noticed a basket on the table with carrots in it. Surprise to me, Karen had made them!

Well, I was expecting rabbits…..and then she pulled out rabbits…

It was so enjoyable to spend the afternoon sharing ideas and techniques. We also shared some tips that we have come across. A great tip from Karen – to age her items instead of using a traditional tea staining, Karen uses instant coffee. 1cup of water to 1/4cup of instant coffee to be exact. She feels it gives a truer aged look.And I agree!

Thinking about how Karen learned to sew…it made me wonder how many young people are learning how to sew these days. Thinking of my grandson Charlie and how maybe it might be something we could work at when he visits. He is still young enough where he might be curious.

For more information on Karen’s folk art creations you can contact her at:

Karen’s work is also featured in a shop in Sandwich, IL, called The Rusty Rooster.

Have a great week everyone!

Easter Is On Its Way!

Yes, Easter is on its way, but first we get Spring, glorious Spring. Many of us are counting the days to fair weather.

Easter makes me think of many things, one of which is coloring Easter eggs. Such wonderful memories I have of when my children were young and we would spend hours decorating eggs.

This is a newer version of the traditional egg.

Do you remember how I had mentioned another way to use gold leaf a few posts back? Well, this is it.

The most difficult part to this is actually blowing the eggs clean of yolk and white. The only way that I have thought of that may make this a little easier is if you have a small air compressor, like those used for airbrushing. So how does one do it? You poke a whole at each end of the egg and you blow through them to empty the egg. By the way, the egg is certainly useable, I save them for scrambled eggs or for a recipe calling for eggs. Sound easy? Think again. Getting the hole large enough to get the contents out yet not crack the whole egg is the trick. I was able to make the majority of the holes about 1/8-1/4 of an inch. Rinse them thoroughly and let dry overnight. I patched the holes with a little drywall mud and lightly sanded them when dry.

Next step……chose your paint colors. Here I used not only an assortment of pastels, I used the Color of the Year from pantone called Radiant Orchid (and a shade lighter and darker). Once the paint is dry, I used 2 coats, you are ready for the next step.

Remember the gold leaf sizing? Also called adhesive? You will want to get that out and a fine paint brush. (Try to find one at a reasonable price as you will be tossing it when done). As you can see from the pastel ones I painted on the adhesive in a couple of designs, stripes, curly cues, scrolls, hearts, etc. The Radiant Orchid ones I used curly cues (you basically make a “c” and continue wrapping it around itself).

After the adhesive dries clear, you can lay a sheet of gold leaf over the egg, rub it down thoroughly and with a soft brush, scruff off the excess.

The solid gold leaf eggs I painted the eggs red and black and then applied adhesive to one side, let it dry, apply gold leaf, turn it over and repeat. Why red and black? They are traditional color bases for gold leaf.

Have fun with them if you are going to give them a try. Maybe use an accent color that you have used in your home. If you prefer, the eggs may be purchased at my Etsy shop, which is –
Have a good day,