Sunday, November 27, 2016

Touching a Legacy and a Tiny Mystery

A fantastic book - a favorite
I've already reviewed here
on the blog.
I was very saddened to learn today that quiller Malinda Johnston passed away just a few days ago, on Thanksgiving, November 24, 2016.  I was one of a huge number of quillers that found her work to be inspiring.  Her books simply made me want to quill, and then they did a great job of showing you just how to do it.  She has left behind an incredible legacy that will positively impact paper quilling and quillers for many years to come.

I've already reviewed her book "The Book of Paper Quilling: Techniques and Projects for Paper Filigree" here on this blog.  It will always be a favorite.  I remember opening up the book and flipping through the designs for the first time.  I was particularly impressed by the Halloween design (after seeing me post my own Halloween Sampler here on the blog, I'm sure you are not surprised by this.)  The little pumpkin on that page is so perfectly made, and the swirls in the ghost show impeccable technique.  I decided that no pumpkin could possibly be better than that one, and have rather consciously tried to meet that standard on every pumpkin I've quilled since.

And then years later ...

Pages 78 and 79 of the book, showing the little pumpkin
that I became somewhat obsessed over.
I blogged about attending the North American Quilling Guild Conference that happened in May of this year.  One of the things I didn't mention was that at that meeting, everyone had the chance to walk away with a piece of quilling history.  A number of older pieces of quilling had been contributed to the guild, and we were all given the chance to pick one out for our very own.  I didn't know this until late in the meeting, and so by the time I got to the display there weren't many left.  I walked down the table ... and couldn't believe my eyes.  There was the pumpkin!  The ghost!  And I was able to take them home for my very own!  They are a bit worse for wear over the years, but I am thrilled to have them in my collection.

Actual in-my-hard art is
above, and the book's
image is below.
So that is me with a small touch of a great legacy.  So what is the tiny mystery, here?  It is this - the question of who quilled this piece is not easily answered.  You'd think it would be easy, because on the back of the piece there is a post-it note saying "Designed by Eleanor Baxter for LCC Book of Paper Quilling pg. 79."  But.  When you read the acknowledgements in the back of the book, Eleanor Baxter is credited with the Valentine Heart, also shown on page 79.  (see picture of two page spread, above.)  In fact, no one in the acknowledgements is credited with the Halloween design.  So I'm wondering, did Malinda do this herself, and did the post it note get moved to the back of the wrong project?  Or was there a mistake in the acknowledgements for the book? 

Another picture of book with
quilled art.  Love it.
I suppose I might never know the answer to those questions.  It does not matter to me from one perspective - that I now own this awesome piece of quilling that has always meant something to me.  But it does matter to me because I'd love to give credit where it is due.  In any case, Malinda Johnston created a great book that included this and many other wonderful designs.  And she did a great deal more for quillers everywhere.  I still look forward to quilling designs from Lake City Crafts.

Image Credits:  My pictures of books and quilling that I own.  The Halloween design?  Well, it appears in the book, and could be from either Malinda Johnston or Eleanor Baxter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What a little quilled name tag can do ...

I spent last weekend at a women's retreat organized by my church.  It ended up being a wonderful time, but I started the weekend not knowing anyone at all.  I was concerned that, what with having social anxiety, I'd be afraid to meet anyone, and would spend the time alone.

Still, I went to the event with an open mind and lots of hope to meet other local women and perhaps start some new friendships.  I noticed on the agenda that one of the first things we were going to do was "Make Your Own Name Tag" so naturally I brought along my travel quilling kit with some extra cardstock.

The name itself had been provided for us, so all I had to do was pick some pretty paper, glue things together, and then do a bit of quilling.  I chose something simple because I was nervous, and because I wanted to be sure the glue had time to dry before I put the tag on.  Flowers, can't go wrong. 

The first thing that happened was that the array of colors of the quilling paper attracted some attention. "What is that?" one woman asked, and of course I was thrilled to give a quick quilling demonstration.  Another woman walked over and said, "Oh, my mom used to do that!  I forget what it's called."  And so a different conversation got started.  By the end of name-tag-making-time, I had several people sitting around me, talking, making tags, and asking to use some of my supplies.  It was great.

The rest of the weekend people kept coming up to me and remarking on my name tag.  It was absolutely the best conversation starter.  I had no idea it would attract so much attention, but was glad that it did - I met so many wonderful people that I probably would have been too shy to approach myself.  At the end weekend one of the organizers said I should consider doing a quilling workshop for the next year's retreat!  I certainly hope I can say yes to that request - I'll have to see what my schedule holds, but it was so nice to be asked.

I will certainly be quilling more things like name tags in the future.  It turns out to be the perfect way to get a conversation going and to meet new people!

Image Credit:  My pic of my own nametag, my quilling and design.