I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Jack of All Trades...However

 I had a delightful surprise yesterday! I was invited by  Patience Brewster to participate in their  
 "Get to Know the Artist" project in honor of  the recent Artist Appreciation Month.
   And of course, I said, "YES!"
  Before I introduce myself, let me tell you, if you haven't visited the website
 Patience Brewster then you have missed a treat!
    Go a little further and check out their Christmas Ornaments .          
    An artist extraordinare, Patience Brewster has a talent I could only dream of!
    Check out those pages and see what I mean.

The way this post works is that I was sent some questions about my art,
 and I am to answer them here on my blog.
 So here we go!
Let's start at the beginning...a significant moment when I was inspired by art.
Pictured above are eight of a collection of fifty china dolls that were dressed meticulously by my Great Grandmother Sara A. Whitfield of Jackson, Mississippi.
My Grandmother,  Edna W. Alexander was the caretaker of these dolls for years.
 I grew up with these dolls. I absorbed every tiny detail.
 I knew their names and what they wore down to their pantaloons.
Using Godey's Ladies patterns, my great grandmother was sure that every detail was perfect.
This is one of the few remaining dolls in my family's possession.
 I keep her under a glass dome and still am amazed at the intricate handwork.
This is where I started...noticing detail and wanting to  replicate things I observed. I am a Jack of ALL Trades and Master of None! My husband says that I never met a craft I didn't love...and he's right. I have tried it all. Photography, painting, ALL forms of needlework (except tatting), mixed media, making jewelry, cards and baskets, weaving, sewing. I truly feel at peace when I work with my hands. I cook, decorate, undecorate and redecorate.
 I could care less about clothes, although I like jewelry.
 So I guess I am destined to be a rag tag old lady with pretty earrings on.

Here I combined photography, acrylics and paper.

Acrylic and tissue and scrapbook paper.

My grandfather, Harry A. Alexander's marble collection influenced my love of color.
Here I have separated out the blues. As a child, I loved to separate the colors and then mix them all up!
(I was always a little nutty..)

This miniature Crazy Quilt was featured on the cover of a book!
A Stitch In Crime was the book authored by my friend, Cathy Elliott.
(You truly NEED to read it!)
See more about this below.

My love of Crazy Quilts and inspiration from Linda Causee,
 led to this small jewelry box
for my mother, Anne Alexander.

Here is my mother's Poppyseed Chicken recipe that I printed on fabric and attached
to a kitchen potholder for family Christmas gifts.
Nothing is safe with me around.
Faux cakes made from sheetrock mud and Styrofoam.
You'd be surprised at the enjoyment people get from these!

I re-purpose and garden!
The mushrooms are wooden salad bowls.

I actually taught my mother to cross stitch!
 Once she learned, no surface was bare.
My love of table-scaping came from her.
ALWAYS there was a centerpiece on our table.

(Just a side note here: I miss my parents very much.)
The older I got, the smarter they became.
This is a re-creation.
 I actually made the originals over 40 years ago!

I weave fabric to make old chairs new!

I collect Fiesta dishes...what a table setting that would be.

I make fabric placemats and build fabric baskets on my sewing machine.

I re-purpose costume jewelry into crosses.
A nice remembrance using "Grannie's" pearls.

I re-upholster.

Applique is my favorite quilt method..

Chalk paint is my friend.

Old hymnals into angels, anyone?

Photography...my daddy, Robert Alexander, a professional photographer for over sixty years
inspired my love of texture and color.

The beginning of a quilt for my grandson, Ryan.
 It is made with my father's (his great grandfather), my husband's
(his grandfather) and my son's  (his father) shirts.
I need to take a picture of the finished product.
I think he loved it.

Every day is an adventure for me.
Most mornings I cannot wait to get out of bed and get moving.
(Although I find myself moving a little more slowly lately.)
I am a retired school teacher (31 years) and
my son, Ben and I are owners of a small antiques and
collectibles shop, Dwellings,  in Florence, Mississippi.

I truly love the feel of a crochet hook and wool between my fingers.
My aunt, Lorraine Westbrook inspired me.
 She crocheted until she passed away.
 For years she crocheted with little sight in one eye and NO sight in the other.
Her quilts were perfect.


Table-scaping and decorating my home is a passion.
But not with new stuff..for the most part, I like OLD.

Summer before last....I've moved on to turquoise.

Don't you all eat breakfast like this? Ha.
This was for a blog post.

Here are a few tablescapes and decorating ideas I enjoyed putting together.

I enjoy photographing flowers.
I am becoming more comfortable with the color purple
in my old age. Ha!

I get very attached to my art.
 I have to really like you to sell it to you.
I've been known to change my mind at the last minute.
Sometimes I give it away.
I LOVE doing that.

My house isn't a palace, but my family is rich with blessings.
We share a faith in God, respect for our elders and a deep
abiding love of our country and each other.
Enjoyment of simpler times and art began early for all of us.
Below are some of those simple things.
Collecting redware, yelloware, and salt glaze pottery began
 many years ago with a trip to Lancaster, PA.
Thus began a life long appreciation for the simple things.
Dave Eldreth is one of my favorites.
One of my very favorite primitive artists, Betty McCool inspired
me with her beautifully painted children's portraits. She was from
Madison, Mississippi and passed away several years ago.
She was an avid collector and I liked every single thing she

My sweet friends, Michelle Leach and Sharon Ivy are superior potters (& people).
 They inspire me with their energy and technique, even though I
don't "do wheel pottery".
 I have tried free form pottery and enjoyed
it immensely.
Rachel Courtney is an artist with a needle. She doesn't need a brush!
Her stitches are as precise and beautiful as any I have ever seen.
Talk about inspiration!
I have been fortunate to know many talented people in my life. Each
has inspired and encouraged me in his own way. To be given talent
and appreciation for God's world is truly to be blessed.

As you can see, there's not much in the art world that I don't like or appreciate.

One of my most special moments was being asked to use my crazy quilt on the book cover.
For someone to appreciate my work was gratifying beyond description.
I have gained a friend in  author Cathy Elliott and that was the cherry
on the top!

I am everyone's "crazy aunt". The one people aren't sure how to take.
I don't think you can "make" somebody an artist. You can try. You can
make them take lessons and force the issue, but art isn't just about
ability. It's about true appreciation for the time and love that goes into a project.
I was asked about a dream project that I'd like to do.
Well, my "dream" is to have a big open studio where I never have to
put up my supplies! I want it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
 I would so enjoy a  sanctuary where I could go and turn on the radio or a CD and create
something special for somebody special. I may never have that "dream room",
but the urge to create with my hands will go on as long as
the Lord allows it.
Whether you create art with words, pictures, music or other objects, do it well.
Don't give up when something is a big mess. Try again. Encourage others.
Don't give up when nobody seems to appreciate what you've done.
Do it as unto the Lord....not man.

Thank you for walking through this process with me and thanks to Patience Brewster for including me,