Tuesday, May 8, 2007


This basket was a birthday gift. I saw it at The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway and liked it so much that my sweet husband purchased it for me. We live in an area where crafts are abundant and there are many galleries and shows as well as the twice yearly Southern Highlands Craft Guild Fair. What fun!

We have been attending these fairs for almost 30 years - as long as we have lived in the mountains. Other purchases include paintings, jewelry, pottery, glass, wooden bowls and spoons and myriad other items. We find pleasure in giving these at holiday time or any other time, as well as displaying them proudly at home. We have come to look for certain artists whose work we admire. This basket was made by George McCollum and I find the workmanship exquisite. Below, you can see the bottom of the basket.
What I find amazing is its size! It will be just perfect in my dollhouse, don't you think? Maybe on a kitchen table, filled with ripe apples, or summer squash from the garden. When my last son was too young for preschool, but old enough to keep me very busy, I stumbled upon a dollhouse to make and a new hobby for me began.

My husband, who was coming to the rescue even then, set up two sawhorses and placed a twelve foot long piece of plywood across them to form the perfect table for me to begin my building project. When my son was napping, I went to the table and began putting it together. Eventually the house rose to two stories from the brick foundation, with yellow siding, a wrap-around porch and white railings, and a real shake roof. Hours and hours of delightful, quiet time was spent with that project.

He was just 18 months old when I began building that house, as something that would engage my mind and be a challenge. Sometimes, especially during caregiving, one can lose track of self. Having a hobby or something engaging that you are passionate about will help to bring balance to your life. The dollhouse and its decorations and furnishings (I am still collecting, as you can see) have become a lasting joy; they will remain firmly coupled with that child forever in my mind.

As I became a caregiver for my mother, I tried to build another dollhouse, but it just didn't work this time. That's where the knitting came in; it began so very quietly and quickly became a true passion...and brought balance, once again.


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