Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Homestead National Monument, Day Two

 (Above:  The Palmer-Epard Cabin at Homestead National Monument in Nebraska.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I've promised to blog about my art residency every day! Each day I plan on sharing some aspect of Homestead National Monument and then what I've accomplished art-wise.  Today is Day Two!  First up ... the Palmer-Epard Cabin.  (Then my art!)

The Palmer-Epard cabin was built in 1867 from mixed hardwoods (which I've learned is a real luxury here on the nearly tree-less prairie).  At the time, the size was consider quite spacious, measuring 14' x 16'.  Originally, it stood on a homestead about fourteen miles away and was moved to the National Monument in 1950.

The most impressive thing about this cabin is the fact that it was once the home to a family with TEN CHILDREN.  I can't even imagine! 

Every night the park rangers strip the bed.  The mattress isn't a traditional one.  It's an air mattress.  Why?  Well, this is the prairie.  There are mice.  Mice would just love to live here!

The cabin is beautifully restored and I especially liked the white-washing of the interior logs.

I've always enjoyed seeing antique implements and utensils in such settings.

 During the summer, the little cabin provides shade but is actually rather hot inside.

In the cold winters, however, the stove probably kept the place quite cozy ... if one had enough firewood.  Again ... hardwood wasn't plentiful on the prairie.

The logs for this cabin conformed to the shape of the trees they came from.

Even the door knob is nice!

Now ... BUTTONS!  My art residency proposal called for using buttons.  Boy do I have plenty to use!  This is my work table!

I started another piece similar to Waste Not Fresh Tears.  This will be Waste Not Fresh Tears II.  It is another xylene photo transfer on print making paper that was later fused to fabric.  The image is one of my many cemetery angel sculptures.  I've highlighted it with a touch of water soluble crayon.

These are the flesh, light tan, slightly greyed-yellow and similar toned buttons.  I've made a dent in this pile ... but have plenty more.

I am supplementing with light pink, peach, and dull mauve buttons ... and still have many, many more.  There's no danger of running short.

Today I did the free-motion machine embroidery on this piece.  It measures 20" x 24" and is a digital image that was printed by Spoonflower onto cotton.  The image is in the public domain and features a couple of homesteaders.  I plan on finding a perfect quotation to hand stitch in the sky ... which is still just basted.

I also started adding black buttons to the image transfer of the Homestead Act Centennial stamp.  I have an entire box of these black buttons.  I plan on adding some hand quilting to the stamp area.  The pink threads are just the basting lines.

Finally, I transformed these wrapped-and-stitched wooden thread spools into Christmas ornaments.  I completed half of the spools I have ready ... but I have a shopping bag filled with wooden thread spools.  Those have been wrapped with wool yarn and also have the button hole stitching done.  I have all the decorative stitching to do.  There's no way I'll finish all of them ... or half of them ... or probably not even a fourth!  I collect wooden thread spools compulsively but I enjoy transforming them.  Check back tomorrow!  I'll blog again!


karen christensen said...

Hot flat lands. I remember driving through those lands on the way to vacations as a kid and hating the sameness of it. Later as an adult going through and using small roads exploring and finding so much to see. Perspective. Its all about perspective isnt it. Love your tellings of the residency.

Sandy said...

Love the stamp piece with all the black buttons.
For the stove, if I remember right, I was taught they burnt sod as there was no wood.

Julie said...

My hands are already aching at the thought of how much hand sewing you have done and are doing. Your button collection makes me feel so much better about mine lol