This latest piece comes with a story. For some time now, I've been interested in the genre of "primitive crafts". They harken back to days when people made crafts to bring beauty and enjoyment to a home of meager beginnings. When you don't have much, things that we typically discard today were kept, reused, re-purposed, and rarely thrown away until there wasn't anything left to throw away. These craft pieces have an organic feel to them simply because they are made with found objects, pieces of someone's life (that could no longer be used for its intended purpose, like a burlap bag that ended up with too many holes), scraps of this and that leftover from a sewing project (a handmade dress created from fabric purchased with nickels saved over months and months), and free objects found in nature.
The reason I resonate so much primitive crafts and the history behind them is because my father grew up in this sort of environment. My Dad's family were caretakers of a mountain in hills of North Carolina. They were given a small cabin on the top of the mountain where they took care of live stock and made sure that no one else trespassed on the mountain. My grandparents, great-grandmother, and three children (my Dad and his older brother and sister) lived in a house with no electricity and no running water. They lived hand-to-mouth and appreciated the gifts that nature provided them.
My grandmother, a Godly woman who loved providing for her family, worked hard to make this cabin a home. I thought of her a great deal as I worked on this project. My family still has the teddy bear that she made out of scraps for my Dad when he was a child. She tried to teach me to sew and always had some sort of hand-crafted "play pretties" (or toys) for me to play with as I grew up. She made me one of my first dolls (which I still have), a stuffed clown named "Sammy".
Anyway, here is my first attempt at some sort of primitive craft. I thought about some of the things that my grandmother may have had for such a craft as I chose things from my stash. I started with some burlap (from a small gift bag that I had) and some paint. Now I confess, I used some of Tim Holtz's paint (Granny never had anything that good to work with!) and some of Tim's stamps to create my design. But she would have had several buttons, threads and pins hanging around to embellish such a project. I added some lace around the edges to soften the burlap. This could have come from an old slip that was too worn to wear anymore or left over from a dress that she made for someone else.
I thought about the format of this project and decided to do a framed wall-hanging. To give a more rustic feel, I used the back side of the frame. Then I was left with the question of what to put in the background. I remember my Dad talking to me about using newspaper to stuff in the holes of the cabin walls to keep the wind from blowing in on cold winter days. So, I took some vintage newsprint, covered it with paper circle masks (a primitive shape), and roughly painted it with Walnut Stain Distress Paint. After I took the circle masks off the newsprint, I used some Antique Linen Distress paint to wash over and soften the newsprint circles.
To continue the circle theme, I grabbed more buttons, the top of a spool, and a pop bottle cap (topped with some of Tim's vintage paper) for embellishments. I used some threads that I pulled from the burlap, brown rope, some muslin fabric (from an old laundry bag) that I stamped with a TH checkerboard stamp and Walnut Stain Distress Paint, and a vintage safety pin that used to finish off the above corner embellishment.
I decorated the vine cuttings on the right side of my hanging with more scraps of stamped muslin. I really love this look.
I used some Tim Holtz Idea-ology grungeboard elements to spell out the word "Home". I actually cut the letters a little to make them a bit more stream-lined and rustic.