Meet Sarah

I'm Sarah with an "h" and like most Sarahs, I have spent my life specifying to people that I have an "h" in my name.  About 5% of the time, when I say, "Sarah with an 'h'," the "h" ends up in a weird place like Shara or Sahra. 

One time, in fourth grade, we were studying Egypt and our teacher, Mrs. Peterson, wrote on the board that we were going to watch a movie called "Secrets of the Sarah."  Of course, she meant "Sahara," but I had a new nickname that lasted for at least a week.  I remember that movie, too, it was about the Aswan High Dam and how they moved the Temple of Abu Simbel to keep it from being destroyed when they dammed the Nile.  I didn't really like having that nickname, but I have been fascinated with Egypt ever since so it was somewhat apropos.

My disjointed rambling about my name is probably not the stuff you wanted to learn about me by clicking over to this page.  You're probably wondering about how and where I learned to craft, and what my influences were.  So, let me start again.

I was born and raised in a suburb of Minneapolis.  I was very lucky to have one set of grandparents who had a cabin in the north woods, and another set with a farm on the southern plains.  I got the best of all three worlds--the city, the forest and the country.  Despite my fond memories of growing up in Minnesota, I never developed a love for winter or mosquitoes.  Consequently, after living in Paris for a year, I settled in Phoenix's East Valley about 15 years ago.  I still see the occasional mosquito, but I've yet to run across a snowdrift or wind chill warning in my adopted home.

As a little girl, I had a wonderful toy that my mom carried with us everywhere in a large baggie closed with a twisty-tie.  It was a blue plastic pegboard with tiles that came in different shapes and colors.  You used the tiles to make pictures on the pegboard.  I also loved a series of coloring books called "Altair Designs."  They were filled with geometric designs that I spent hours and hours coloring in with markers, crayons, colored pencils, and my precious box of oil pastels.  I realize now that what I was doing then was creating quilts on paper.  More on quilting later.

I was born in 1965.  My aesthetic runs toward midcentury design which is very much a result of having grown up with it.  I see things from that time and I am immediately transported back to my childhood.  A Danish modern sofa  takes me to my Little Grandma's living room.  I spot a Redwing Pottery bowl at a thrift store and I'm instantly back in the kitchen at the cabin where pancake batter is being made for Sunday breakfast.  It's my way of time traveling.

I grew up with a creative influence in my mother, Ruthann.  She taught me to embroider, needlepoint, and sew my first garment (you'll find that story here).  She was and is a talented painter, and an accomplished needlepointer.  I took more to embroidery, cross-stitching, and sewing, at least when I was young.  At age eight, my mom's business partner Mary taught me to crochet.  When I was 12, I learned to knit in my home ec class.  It was then that I became the obsessed crafter I am today. 

Once I learned to knit, every other creative outlet went by the way side.  All I wanted to do was knit.  I even taught myself to read while knitting so I could knit while I did my homework.  About ten years ago, I had a job that caused me to travel internationally.  Those long flights were spent knitting mittens.  One year, I produced about 50 pairs of mittens, and sent them in a giant box to my friends and relatives in Minnesota.  Everyone picked whatever they wanted and everyone--male or female, young or old--loved that gift.

In 2000, I decided I needed a new creative challenge.  I signed up for a beginning quilting class at a local quilt store.  Within months, the obsession I felt for knitting began to look like nothing more than a passing fancy.  I went crazy for quilting!  This was me and my blue plastic pegboard and Altair Design coloring books, only older and with an income of my own to spend.

Now, ten years later, I have devoted two of the three bedrooms in my house to my creative endeavors.  At least 25% of the rest of my house is cluttered with projects and supplies, as well.  At this moment in my house, Christmas crafts are taking up parts of the dining room and TV room.  The garage is being used to strip furniture.  I have a painting/decoupage project set up in my bedroom.  The TV room has two knitting projects and an appliqued quilt project.  In the two rooms intended specifically for creative stuff, I have even more projects going on.  I am proud to declare that at my house, you can find a good quality, sharp scissors within 5 feet of any place you can sit down...  even the bathroom!

I have one other obsession and that is thrift stores.  Some people are lucky in love, some with money, others with opportunity.  Myself?  I have incredible thrifting mojo.  My home is a veritable museum of thrifted treasures.  "Museum."  That is the world that everyone uses.  My house is a museum; a window to the past.  A time machine.

I love doing this blog because it helps me stretch myself creatively.  It gives me a reason and inspiration to try new techniques, new products, and new ideas.  It makes me look at everything I see with a discerning eye.  Do I like this thing?  Why or why not?  What's the potential of this thing?  Can I turn it into something else?  Can I give it a new life and a new purpose?

Sara is the one who has pushed for us to partner on a blog.  She was right.  Our complementary styles and personalities work well together.  So here we are.  I'm Sarah with an "h" and I'm pleased to make your acquaintance.  Now go get your craft on!
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