I have always had a passion for old, worn out, decrepit things. For a number of years I worked primarily with chalkware, making Santas and other figures using my collection of antique chocolate moulds. In 1998 one of my Santas was included in Early American Life Magazine’s Best Santas of the Year and I was included in their Directory of Traditional Craftsmen in 1999. Also in 1999, one of my cotton batting Santas graced the Blue Room Christmas tree at the White House.
Since then I have focused my energy on creating my own original needlework designs (cross stitch and needle punch) as well as reproductions of some of the antique samplers I've collected.
I love simple, humble things.....the soft sound of thread being pulled through fabric.....old sewing scissors, thimbles, and pincushions.....wool, be it the fragrant curls of raw lambswool or the wonderful texture of an old wool blanket.....the rich nuances of color in white ironstone (white ironstone sounds plain, but the best kind isn’t).....
And then there is my garden! Gardening is never far from my thoughts. Even when I am creating a character for one of my needlework designs (take Miss Fancey Blackett for instance), I imagine them in their little garden plots – picking herbs and tending the vegetables or putting a sprig of chamomile in their apron pocket just to delight in the sweet scent as it is gently crushed against the fabric.
I am deeply interested in the history of our country, especially in the experiences of women making the westward journey, settling the “middle border,” and during the Civil War.
And so, it is with an old-fashioned spirit that I create my works forPineberry Lane. May your life be blessed with the simple graces of yesterday...
~~ Wendy Stys-Van Eimeren ~~