Posts Tagged With: art

Last Minute Gifts: “Paint Yourself Silly” in Lincoln

For the past two years, my kids have participated in the summer reading program at Indigo Bridge Books in Lincoln.  One of the prizes both summers was a free hour of painting pottery at Paint Yourself Silly in Lincoln.  This has resulted in the creation of unique Christmas gifts for the past two years in a row.

Paint Yourself Silly Projects

Now these are obviously not all of our creations – just all of the possibilities.  For the past two years, my kids have painted coasters.  Individual works of art.  They have now each painted one set for Daddy last year, then for both sets of grandparents this year.  (I will post pictures of their completed projects on Facebook soon.  They are giving away their final set today!)

Paint Yourself Silly Kids

They love getting paint on a “blank canvas,” and I love the fact that coasters can be a useable keepsake.  As opposed to pieces of paper that constantly fall off of the refrigerator…  I enjoyed watching them to determine their designs.  The best part – I am not tempted to help, since then I would have to pay for an hour of painting.  The project is truly theirs.  Then the mess is truly “Paint Yourself Silly’s” – no clean up required.  That is another great part!

Paint Yourself Silly Paint

The paint selection process is even fun, and they have added glass fusing and mosaics to their project possibilities.  If you bring a friend on Fridays from 6-9, you can paint for half price.  And if you wear comfy jammies on the first Friday of the month, you can paint half price from 9-midnight.  Plus they have a flat fee if you want to “paint until you faint” all day.  Several discount options.

The normal fee per hour of painting is $6 an hour if you are above 10, and only $4 an hour for kids under 9.  The pottery is purchased separately and varies in cost based on size and intricacy.  They also have birthday party and other event options (including preschool story time).  Plus they have a location in both the Haymarket and in Southeast Lincoln.  Hours vary at each location.  We all love to go to Paint Yourself Silly and highly recommend the experience!

Categories: Lincoln, Local Business, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Flashback: Using Quilts to Interpret Nebraska History

When pioneer women sewed quilts, they were not looking to write history.  They were simply piecing together warmth for their family.  While a few perhaps created for the sake of art, survival was more of their focus.

I had hoped to write about this topic last week right after I talked about the International Quilt Museum and Study Center.  As that ended up being multiple entries anyway, this post was put off.  But since quilts are such an important part of pioneer history and thus an integral part in the past of Nebraska, I decided this was an essential topic.  Once I began to research, I was surprised to see the name of one of the authors on the title of a book referencing this title.

This book cover photo is courtesy of Amazon.

Stephanie Grace Whitson has been a favorite author of mine for years.  She is a Nebraskan who has set many of her fictional stories in this state.  Since reading a novel is an enjoyable way to learn parts of history, I know that she has educated me on Nebraska’s past simply through her ability to tell a wonderful tale.  While the majority of books that I read I now check out from the library, I actually own all of her books.  At least I thought I did – evidently I was only managing to keep up with her fictional titles.

So, I checked out the title, Home on the Plains: Quilts and Sod House Experience, that she coauthored with her friend, Kathleen Moore.  And I am positive that the title will eventually find its way to my library.  What a delightful book!  Interspersed with the stories of hardy pioneer women are photographs of their quilts.  Reading diary excerpts of those who endured and helped to transform the barren land into the Nebraska of today reminded me of just what a challenge being a settler was.

The book is divided into three sections …

  1. Arriving
  2. Settling In
  3. Staying On
  4. Quilt Projects

You read correctly – if you are a quilter, patterns of eight pioneer quilt projects are included.    Complete with patterns, instructions and color photograph examples.  The authors actually quilted many of the examples themselves.  The research is meticulous, and the story is captivating.  I will soon be reading the book cover to cover.  If  you are not a quilter, the project section also includes the background story of each quilt, so that was even interesting to me.  Rather than me expounding on pioneer quilts, I am going to simply recommend that you get a copy of the book!

The book might just inspire you to want to learn even more about pioneer quilts in Nebraska,  Although I have not necessarily previewed these, here are some additional books specifically about the history of quilting in Nebraska.

Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers by Patricia Cox Crews and Ronald C. Naugle

A Prairie Homecoming by Mary Obrist (Nebraska State Quilt Guild)

Sod House Treasures and Other Nebraska Quilt Patterns by Jan Stehlik

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum also has excellent online resources for exploring more.  One of the quilters featured in the Home on the Plains book mentioned above is Grace Snyder.  A whole online exhibit has been developed telling the story of how she has influenced quilting in Nebraska.  They plan to add stories of more Nebraska quilters in the future.

Quilt Chronicles Collage

P.S. If you enjoy reading fiction like I do, Stephanie Grace Whitson’s current Quilt Chronicles series features quilts as a backdrop.  All three titles are written about  Southeastern Nebraska and explain varying aspects of the pioneer culture.  Based on experiences that were happening during the early settlements of the area, I would highly recommend each of them.  Wonderful books to read!  For a complete list of titles and to learn more about the author, please visit Stephanie Grace Whitson’s blog.

4gratitude

Categories: Flashback Fridays, Lincoln, Metro, Recommended Reading, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grandma Michels: My Family Quilting Heritage Part 2

Slightly less than a year ago, we said our earthly good-byes to my grandmother.  She survived a few months past the century mark, and she was ready to go Home.  I am so glad all of our children were able to meet her.

Grandma and the kids

She adored her great grandchildren.  I think that was a surprise to her.  After all, on the way to the hospital to meet my oldest son, she had this conversation with my sister.

Sheila: “Grandma, are you excited to meet your first great-grandchild?”

Grandma: “I don’t know.  I wasn’t that excited about meeting you kids for the first time.”

Gee, thanks, Grandma.  My Grandma was definitely honest.  Maybe a bit much so at times, especially in her later years.  Thankfully we could usually laugh at her comments.  She was in her 60’s when I first met her.  Much more active and into lots of projects.  Including a beautiful flower garden.  And into making quilts.  Lots of them!

Grandma star quilt

When I was around 12, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt with her.  So, she let me pick out fabric scraps.   I started sewing and sewing and sewing.  For a few hours I kept at it.  Then suddenly having my own homemade quilt no longer mattered.  That was hard work.  Below is pictured my one and only quilt.  Yes, the small sorry looking squares that would have looked even more pathetic if my Grandma had not kindly sewed on backing.  I did not exactly inherit her sewing skills.

DSCN6547_3025October13

I managed to “quilt” 16 whole squares before quitting.

Thankfully my Grandma kept on with her quilts.  We have a wonderful collection of family heirlooms.  A quilt is truly a work of art.

Grandma's Quilts

When we were teenagers, we requested that Grandma make each of a quilt for a wedding present someday.  She lived long enough to personally present each of us with that gift.  My butterfly quilt is hanging on a special quilt rack in our daughter’s room,so I see the masterpiece often.  (And I have already had to explain to my daughter that the quilt is not going with her someday, at least not right away! 🙂

Grandma's Quilt Gifts

I am thankful that my Grandma invested her time into leaving pieces of herself and the past into gifts that will last.  I am even more thankful that she invested her lives in us.  And her prayers – that is really what has kept us from unraveling over the years.  I miss her!

thankful tree

Categories: Lewis and Clark, Nebraska History, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Holens: My Family Quilting Heritage Part 1

I never had the privilege of meeting my Great Grandma Holen, although I have seen her handiwork.  I know I adored her daughter, and she was a wonderful grandmother to me for the over 30 years that I had the privilege of interacting with her.  Marvel Ellen DeLoris Holen Gustafson was her long name for a little lady.  My daughter often reminds me of her – one of the many things I love about my little girl.  My grandma was the youngest and had many older brothers and only one older sister.

Well, evidently my Great Grandma Holen was  a resourceful woman.  When you have lots of sons, what do you do with their neckties? Why you quilt with them of course.  This must have been a quilt that she did not quite complete because at one point my Grandma gathered with her siblings, and they all finished the project.

Holen Quilt

Eventually the family quilt was donated to the Phelps County Museum in Southwestern Nebraska.  The story of the quilt might have just been family history if not for one group of travelers.  The ones who were looking for pioneer quilts and happened to choose the Holen quilt as one of several to feature in a book.

This beautiful hardcover book by Sandi Fox features many family quilts including the one made by my Great Grandmother Holen and her children.

Oh and the book was written to reflect all of the quilts to be on display at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. for a limited time.  Since our family quilt was traveling there, a large group of us decided to go as well.  93 of us to be precise.  We had a marvelous time traveling about the D.C. area and then spent several hours looking at all of the display quilts.  And taking LOTS of pictures with the family quilt.

Holen Quilt with Michels family

Here is my family with the quilt (back in the day of 3 kids)!  We all wore “Where’s Waldo” type scarves to designate family members.  They were very fun!

I may eventually post more pictures from that trip – one of my favorites ever.  We all wore matching scarves and were quite the tourists.  While we all are descended from the same family, we now lived in many different places.  This trip gave us a chance to connect.  The next place the Holens plan to descend upon is the Big Apple.  I am hoping that my husband and the kids and I can go.  Would be a great adventure with my family that I love!

thankful tree

Categories: Nebraska History, Prairie Lakes, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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