Nellie"s Needles

Friday, January 19, 2007


Vicki of "Field Trips in Fiber", tagged me for this item moving through the blogs. I had not intended to expand my blog to discuss personal things but I've enjoyed getting to know each of you, so I'll play along. Here are the rules:

  • Someone Tags you
  • You post 5 things about yourself that you haven't already mentioned on your blog
  • You tag 5 people about whom you'd like to know more

My five things:

1. I'm an Iowa farm girl. Milking three cows by hand was my main chore ... twice a day ... every day ... even when I was going to the University of Iowa. Wonder if I smelled like the farm? There were never any comments if I did. Way back then I declared that I'd never marry a farmer, a preacher, or a teacher. They all have to work too damn hard ... and for little monetary compensation. I moved away from the farm to Milwaukee and married an advertising man 43 years ago. He's the love of my life.

2. I have a large doll collection. I loved dolls when I was a child, but didn't have any. A great deal of my childhood was spent in a children's home ... the farm was with foster parents. When I was little I used to cut up my socks to make a doll and her clothes. This got me in trouble because I kept "losing my socks". Of course, I had to keep the doll hidden and play with it in secret. Consequently, I've over-compenstated and have accumulated over a hundred dolls through the years. I got my last doll from Santa at the age of 50. Now there are just a few that I feel attached to. Here's my only granddaughter sitting among some of them.I've been gifting many of them to Tessa, as well as to all the little and big girls in my life.

3. I have always liked sewing and needlework. As a girl I embroidered many dish towels and finger crocheted any and everything. There was a treadle sewing machine on the farm that became mine. I made clothes for myself and my sister as well as dresses for her doll ( I was too old for one), Through the years I've done a lot of knitting, canvas and crewel work, even making bobbin lace, plus fine hand-sewing and smocking. For many years I taught smocking techniques across the United States and in Canada. Also, I'm a founder of the Smocking Arts Guild of America ,a national organization. I wrote a number of books and designed patterns and kits for smocking as well. I still smock an occasional dress or doll garment for my Tessa. Plus, she wears the classic style garments I made as class samples many years ago.

4. I love to read and I prefer to read the whole book without interuption. Consequently, I've got to time my escape into books. Interuptions make me cranky ... I want to be "there". I used to have to hide in the outhouse to read on the farm ... there was always something else I was supposed to be doing. I suspect my escapism style of reading began as a child. I especially loved fairy tales. I don't know who enjoys the story more when I read to my grandchildren.
5. I have Fibromyalgia. I can hardly believe it's been for ten and half years now. It has lessened in severity over time. The most difficult thing was learning to pace my activities ... and to give up playing tennis. My body cannot handle repetative motion without going into muscle spasms. Thankfully there are varied activities involved in the process of making quilts. There is cutting fabric, basting, machine sewing, hand-sewing and quilting , plus a lot of sitting and studying the design board ... as well as surfing and blogging on the computer. I call this chair my nest. My laptop, cuddle quilt, and pillow are handy and there's a good lamp for doing handwork, reading, or doing a sudoku puzzle. So, I'm tagging: Kay, Karen , Ferret, Dianna and Sharon . But, ladies, if this isn't your "thing", you have my blessing to ignore it!


Karen said...

You have done this meme with such flair! I love all the photos. I rose to the challange and answered but with much less flair and photos. It is a fun way to learn more about such interesting people!

Kay said...

OK, you're on! But it will take me a day or two. And as Karen said, you've done yours beautifully, and I probably can't measure up. Actually, one of yours is mine also, and the picture of the dolls looks like my mother's bedroom! It is nice to find out things.

Shelina said...

Nellie, I really enjoyed getting to know you. I find most memes are really boring, but you have made yours so interesting. I like all the photos, and taking a peek at the quilts that are in them. And I enjoyed seeing the other things about you.

teodo said...

What an emotion reading about you. Ciao ciao

Heart's Journey said...

Nellie, I am catching up on my readings after a two weeks delay. This post...our getting to know you...was huge for me. There is such depth exposed here. No wonder you are such a talented artist...there is so much inside of you that I am not sure even you realize just how much :) Thank you for opening your heart and letting us take a peek within!