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Jennifer Helms – “Stitchin’ Thyme”

The Helms family moved to North Carolina in 2003 from the Washington DC area. Jennifer has been married to Bernie for 12 years.  They live in Fuquay Varina with their 3 children, Natalie 10 years old, Gordon 7 years old and Alice 6 years old.  Jennifer has always enjoyed different forms of art and casually began cross stitching  about 14 years ago.  When Natalie was 8 months old she signed up for a hand piecing/quilting class to make her a quilt.  She fell in love with the fabric!!  She finished 3 hand pieced/quilted quilts by the end of class and has been making quilts since.    

After moving to North Carolina she signed up for a few wool appliqué and embroidery classes from Sharon Stewart, at The Rusty Bucket.  That led to a whole new world of crafting for Jennifer making dolls and make-do's.  She has always enjoyed the entire family being able to input their ideas for the things she makes.  Instead of sitting around watching television, everyone is deciding what color hair a doll should have, what needs to be added to a certain item, or color coordinating fabrics.  Oldest daughter Natalie, who has always been very artistic, has taken the crafting quite serious.  Natalie comes up with her own ideas for stichery's, dolls and quilts and requires little to no assistance in making her items.  Her talent showed after finishing her first doll, with a little assistance from Mom on the embroidered face. 

When asked what she loves most Jennifer said:  “I still love making quilts, embroidery, cross stitching but doll making  I find much more exciting.  I love drawing out a doll and giving it life.  I start out with one idea but by the end the doll decides who it wants to be.  I love the fact that every doll turns out different.  I will continue to encourage my children to use their imaginations freely and craft with me.  I am very excited to share the things we make with the Rusty Bucket and its patrons.”

Six year old Alice's first hand crafted doll
Doll quickly found a proud new home

Ten year old Natalie works diligently on one of her many crafting projects

We are so proud at The Rusty Bucket to have presented “Stitchin’ Thyme” and this mother/daughter crafting combo one of our “Featured Artisans”.  I am sure you will agree, that as mother/daughter crafters, they are somewhat unique as their work is incredible in it’s artistrie, creativity and craftsWomanship and we are proud to have their "wears" available in our shop.

Pictured below are a few of the many stichery’s that Jennifer and her daughter Natalie have crafted.  There are also pictures of Jennifer, Natalie and Alice in a recent class at The Rusty Bucket.

Photos from "Stitchin' Thyme"

Click on photos
for more detail!

Alice's first
hand crafted doll

Ten year old Natalie works diligently on one of her many crafting projects natalie

Debbie's Primitive Folk Art

Debbie Brooks is a local artist who grew up in Cary NC, and now lives in Fuquay-Varina NC. Debbie has been painting for almost 30 years and teaching for about 10. All of her work is done in acrylics and painted on a variety of surfaces. Her work ranges from a realistic look to the Folk Art - Americana -Primitive, which is really her favorite style. "I really enjoy taking a new piece of wood and applying faux techniques to make it look old. I also love to make my own things as much as possible, and even do a little woodworking."

Debbie regularly enters her work in the State Fair, and has won over 20 ribbons in the Professional category. Her proudest painting achievement thus far was having a piece on display at the Clinton White House. She has also painted decorative murals in Parade homes in recent years.

Debbie teaches basic, intermediate, and advanced painting classes. She and her husband, John, love beach music and are also very accomplished Shaggier's. They teach shag classes in the Holly Springs/Fuquay area.

The Rusty Bucket now features Debbie's Primitive Folk Art with many of her standard pieces on display. Of special note is her custom "Folk Art Paintings" of your home. All she needs is couple of photos of the exterior of your house and with her Primitive Folk Art style your home is transitioned back to an earlier time. Drop by and see Debbie's art and if you have a special Folk Art request she would love the challenge of a one of painting especially for your home or that gift for that special someone.

Art by Ellen Jane

Art has been more than an interest for Ellen Jane it has been herpassion. A native of New York she has lived most of her adult life on the west coast. Three years ago her husband and two cats, Moya & Bell,moved to North Carolina settling in Apex. Self taught this talented artist paints in a varity of mediums and materials using watercolors and acrylics. Apex and the southwest countryside of Wake County offer a multitude of locations offering inspiration for her favorite subjects country landscapes, old barns, and nature. She admits that her interest changes from time to time with her most recent obsession, gourds. From her home studio her work with gourds incorporates wood burning, carving, painting and leather dyes. Her holiday center pieces were a hit with The Rusty Bucket customers this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ellen Jane does commission pieces, exhibits her work at local art shows and is a featured local artisan at The Rusty Bucket.

Martina Designs

Martina, a German native, who now lives in Cameron, NC has had a passion for crafts all of her life. She decided to sell her wares after winning a painting contest held by "Decorative Woodcrafts" magazine in 1995. Martina designs almost all her pattern herself, cuts her own wood and lovingly crafts everything by hand. Her products have been available to her customers in craft shows and shops in Germany, Missouri and North Carolina. Martina Designs are now featured at The Rusty Bucket and we invite you to become more familiar with her crafts by stopping by our shop in Apex NC located on Historic down town Salem St.

Springhouse Collection by Doris McGlothlin

Doris and her husband recently moved to NC from the mountains of east Tennessee. Handcrafting, painting folk-art or primitive items have been her passion for the last 15 years. She has participated in many shows and craft fairs throughout Tennessee. Each of Doris’ pieces are handmade so no two are alike. We are thrilled for The Rusty Bucket to be an outlet for her talented work.

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