Look what came in the mail!
This beautiful creation was stitched by Melissa Crowe. ("Hem," she explained, means "home" in Swedish.)
To see more of Melissa's work, visit her Etsy shop, Little Pink House.
Just in case you're not familiar with Etsy: it's a very cool website on which artists set up "shops" to sell handmade items--everything from paintings to clothing to furniture. Other proprietors sell vintage goods. I discovered Etsy just a few months ago and am completely hooked. It's like a giant virtual craft fair/art show that never closes! I really enjoy the opportunity to buy unique items while supporting an independent artist. It's so much more personal a transaction than ordering from a big company (although my J. Crew addiction is still going strong).
Melissa's beautiful embroidery hoops and "paintings" feature
houses of all sorts,
as well as gorgeous portraits,
composed of wool felt in luscious colors and finished with exquisite embroidery.
The details are amazing.
Melissa also has a wonderfully-written blog in which she writes about her work and family. Her life sounds like a movie plot (although I realize that it probably doesn't always feel like one when lived day-to-day). She describes herself as a "recovering academic," saying that she "went to college for eleven years to become a professor of literature and creative writing" and then changed her mind. As a probably terminal academic, I admire the courage that must have been required to make such a decision. She says that she moved to a town "where artists live" and hopes to become one. It's clear that she's already succeeded.