Friday, December 5

Why Gosh O'Hemlock?

I think I had a magical childhood. At the very least it was fantastic. Being the oldest of four girls, I thought I was always in charge. Three of my cousins lived next door (okay, a mile down the gravel road). And I got to see the other seven on a regular basis. We had horses and dogs and barn cats. We even had mean roosters that would peck at my ankles when I went out the back door. We packed peanut butter sandwiches and disappeared into the woods behind our house for the day. We swam in the pond, skinny-dipped in stock tanks, ran throught sprinklers, camped out in the back yard, and rode our horses bareback. We wore hand-me-downs (I put garage sale finds in this category too) and hand-made clothes. I'm not sure how old I was when my aunt taught us "The Antisdel Song". We sang it with gusto and believed every word. It goes like this: "I'm a hayseed. My hair is seaweed. My ears are made of leather and they flop in windy weather. Gosh O'Hemlock, I'm tough as a pine knot. I'm an Antisdel can't you see!" It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized it was just an old camp song that she had substituted a few words in. It made no difference though. As children we were important enough to have our own family song! So now at 37, with four children of my own, 17, 13, 10, and my youngest (a big surprise) 7 months, I need a creative outlet. My mother passed along a love of sewing and knitting to me and I got to thinking about my childhood hand-me-down clothing. I'm sure she didn't realize it, but my mother was on the cutting edge of "green living" over 30 years ago. This is where my idea for repurposed (aka hand-me-downs) and embellished clothing came from. My creative juices are just beginning to flow, so I'll try to post some pictures of my one-of-a-kind Gosh O'Hemlock creations as they become available.


  1. Jenny, I hope you don't think I'm crazy, but I decided to transfer all the comments to this post. (That IS a little crazy I guess, isnt it). Well now you can delete the other one and not feel remiss in any way. (not that you would have).

    Hey there, congrats on starting a blog. I'm Maggie's friend, Leah, and she and I are talking on the phone right now and looking at your website. She told me about your store idea and I think it's AWESOME!!!! Meanwhile, I love Julia's sweater in that photo above, very colorful! Keep posting!

    Posted by: Leah | November 30, 2008 at 09:35 PM

    Hey thanks for visiting my blog. It's fun to blog, I can feel really productive if I not only make some kind of art piece but also put a photo and notes about it out in the blogosphere. I hope you keep blogging, it takes a little while to learn all the kinks of the program, but let me know if you need any help!


    Posted by: Leah | December 02, 2008 at 01:22 PM

    Thanks Leah, you are so incredibly creative! I can see why Maggie enjoys your company so much. I recently bought a Bernina sewing/embroidery machine and your free motion designs inspired me to sit down and play some more with it. I have so many things I want to do (sew, knit, blog, read, write) but I must attend to the pile of laundry breeding in my laundry room. I think I need to figure out how to sleep less! I'll be in touch and I promise if I ask a million questions I'm not stalking you!

    Posted by: Jenny | December 02, 2008 at 08:38 PM

    jenny and leah, you're my inspiration. i have created a blog of my own ( just to practice being creative again in a safe environment (there's nothing like the safety of the entire online community). anyway, i'm proud of you both and look forward to seeing more fantastic, magical, inspiring posts from both of you. leah, i'll comment on your blog next. this is so liberating!

    Posted by: maggie | December 04, 2008 at 06:00 PM

    I don't mind if you stalk me. It's been awhile since I had someone stalk me...

    I have the Bernina 440QE. Which do you have?

    I have tried various 'plans' over the last year to keep myself in the art-ing. I have done a five-minute notebook, and I have done a block a week. and i have done this and that and the other. But then work happens and I'm out of town for two months (ie nowhere near my art supplies or my computer to post stuff even if I was doing it) - I know, that really is no excuse. But I can understand the being busy and having laundry and life. It IS nice though to look back after a month of posts and see that i actually DID do something creative during my month and i DO have something to show for it, which I feel is especially important to have when there really is nothing else in my life (i mean work, etc) that I have anything to "show" for, if that makes sense. When I was in college, I studied molecular biology, and I never had anything to "show" for it (apart from some D's on physics exams, and the occasional A in organic chemistry) so I made sure to take an art class every semester, and I have a few bowls from ceramics, and crude paintings from a watercolor class, and some very very crude writings from a creative writing class (actually, I cringe now to read back through them) but the point was, it was a start. I was getting involved.

    So even if you only are able to eek out ONE creative thing a week (and blog about it - YES, that IS important, because it kind of makes you accountable, especially if you start getting the support of regular 'lookers' like your sisters or mom or me or other artsy types out there).

    Anyway there are a TON of inspiring bloggers/artists/quilters, but BEWARE you can spend (ie waste) countless HOURS surfing websites rather than actually doing your own work. I know, that's pretty much what I do every night sometimes. It's fun, but it can really detract.

    So here's to you getting another post up by midnight on Saturday 12/6. It doesn't matter WHAT the post is about, just ANYthing. Even if you just talk about what crafts/art you like and why.

    And ask me any question. I'd love to help in some way.

    Email me your snail mail and I'll send you some scraps and an Artist Trading Card. They're kind of fun and I just got into them.

    Talk to you later-


    Posted by: Leah | December 04, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    Thanks for the inspiration Leah. I will take your advice. I have the Artista 730. I think I was temporarily insane when I bought it, but I love it anyway. I'm sure there is no way I will ever be able to use all the features but I am going to try! I started knitting a hat this morning so maybe I will blog about that!


    Posted by: Jenny | December 05, 2008 at 08:50 AM

  2. ps definitely blog about the hat, even a photo of the pile of yarn is sufficient for a blog post. especially if it is at all pretty, which i'm sure it is. and even brown can be pretty (in case its brown)

  3. Leah, I'm so glad you did this and its amazing to me that you know how! I just deleted the other account and was sort of sad because I thought I had deleted all the comments too. I will email the other info to you about the logo.

  4. Jenny,

    Finally just found your blog! Love it...and Julia is so darn cute looking out the window...made me smile. You should start an etsy store with your "green" creations...

    Good luck with the blog!


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