Good morning and Happy Monday, everyone! It’s time again to announce this week’s giveaway for the Big Birthday/Happy Fall September Blog Party!~ I’m so excited to announce this week’s giveaway because it comes from a very good friend.
I’d like you all to meet Holly, one of my dearest and craftiest friends. We met a few years ago at a craft show that we were both doing for the first time. She even won the prize for best booth! Since then I’ve come to know her as one of the sweetest, sassiest and craftiest girls out there. She has so many talents. And one of these talents is the creation of her wonderful crafty art prints that celebrate womanhood, craftyness, and humor. Holly has kindly offered to give this week’s giveaway winner their pick of any print in her shop. All you have to do is comment on this post, with double entry for anyone who joins the follower’s list or shares the giveaway on their blog, twitter, facebook, etc.
I just know you’re going to love Holly and her work. Here’s a little bit more about this lovely gal and her empire of Sweetheartville….
Name: Holly Hall
Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a born and raised Oklahoman, a mama to two little girls, a wife to a funny, amazingly talented musician, and a homemaker. I’m also an artist, though I’ve only recently had the courage to admit that, even to myself. The word “artist” can have such a pretentious ring to it, but it really shouldn’t be that way. I’ve always been a creator. I dabble in sewing, gluing things together, embroidery, crochet, painting, collage, baking, canning, gardening, decorating, and music. I’m an unapologetic feminist, and a collector of too much stuff. I’ll try just about anything once.
What inspires you to create your art?
I have so very many inspirations that I sometimes become so overstimulated and full of inspiration that I’m paralyzed, unable to translate all that beautiful creativity into something concrete. First and foremost, I’m inspired by the past–paper ephemera, Victorian postcards, old houses, old signs, quirky roadside attractions, kitschy souvenirs, and vintage Western wear. I’m a licensed cosmetologist, so I’m naturally drawn to vintage hairstyles and notions of beauty. I’ve always loved the Ozark Mountain regions of Arkansas and Missouri, and the folkways of mountain people. Music, especially country, Bluegrass, and old-time music, is a huge inspiration for me. I was raised on Bluegrass music with a Dobro-playing father. Those high lonesome vocals and mournful lyrics are forever ingrained in my subconscious.
What are some of your new items you’ve debuted this year:
Back in December of 2009, at the suggestion of a friend, I created a kitschy “prayer” candle featuring St. Tammy, Patron Saint of Hairstylists. Those candles were such a hit that my line of imagined “saints” has since expanded to cover many of the domestic arts, such as baking, sewing, and knitting, with more to come. I’m excited to now offer 8 x 10″ prints of my Sweetheartville Saints, as well as some of my other artwork.
Why are you so passionate about home made and old timey things?
As long as I can remember, I’ve felt this very real connection to the past and to my ancestors. I think some of it comes from being raised in a house built by my great-grandmother’s own hands and from spending hours roaming the pastures and hay meadows of 300 acres of northeastern Oklahoma grazing land that belonged to five generations of my family. I think of all the amazing, resourceful, strong women that came before me and am just so humbled by how really hard day-to-day life was for them, and how they handled it with so much grace. What our great-great grandmothers went through just to put a meal on the table and dress their children in clean clothes boggles my mind. It’s exhausting just to think about, but they did it with little complaint, because it’s what had to be done. And then to think that in the midst of all this hard, physical labor they created so many beautiful and useful things–quilts from scraps, handmade furniture, embroidered linens and rag rugs. And a little more recently, our grandmothers made beautiful clothing and the most remarkable little (albeit kitschy) doodads, decorations and gifts from nothing more than jar lids, old bleach bottles and scraps of nylon net and felt.
My mother taught me to respect and treasure old and handmade things. Growing up, nearly everythingin our home was second hand out of necessity, but also by choice. I grew up going to garage sales and junk shops, wearing other people’s castoff clothes, and repainting old furniture long before it was fashionable. I choose to surround myself and my own family with pieces of the past, and to make things by hand and from scratch when I can, because I believe that it’s important to preserve the old ways and knowledge for my daughters. Our predecessors deserve to be honored in that way, and our children deserve to be empowered to be more self-sufficient, creative and frugal.
Not only are you a crafty gal, you’re also one half of the musical duo “Welcome Little Stranger.” Tell us about your music:
My mister (and best friend of thirteen years) and I write and record songs together as time allows, which isn’t very often with two little girls underfoot! I pen most of the lyrics, and my ridiculously talented husband writes the music, plays most of the instruments, and engineers the recordings. He can play just about anything, and is first and foremost a rock n’ roller, but he got a Bluegrass education when he met me. Our Welcome Little Stranger stuff is pretty dark and folky, with lots of Autoharp, dulcimer, mandolin, and gritty guitars. Many of the lyrics are inspired by actual historical events, such as the rather gruesome “Governor’s Ball”, based on the story of Big Nose George.
Are there any local shows going on in the future where Okie shoppers can find you and your wares?