Gunnison 1918…

Some readers may recognize this article from Daveno Historica – a blog I set up during the COVID-19 pandemic to record my family and personal histories. I am planning to close that blog by Spring 2023. Posts for Gunnison and the Sportsmen’s Hotel are moving here.  I plan to preserve the family histories and personal memoirs in bound format under the title: “The Matriarch Diaries” sometime in the next 5 years.

March 11, 2020 was a tumultuous day here in Seattle, WA, the nation’s epicenter for COVID19. At 9:30 AM Pacific time, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus to be a global pandemic. At 11 AM, Governor Inslee took steps towards viral containment in three counties in Washington State by banning groups of more than 250 people from assembling; encouraging schools to develop contingency plans; reminding people to wash their hands and practice social distancing. Those of us over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions are following recommendations to hunker down at home. Wish us luck…

History is full of stories about cities that sequestered themselves during times of plague. In recent history, one of those cities was Gunnison, Colorado, which “declared a quarantine against all the world” during the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918.

My grandmother’s family lived in Gunnison – my grandmother recounts having smallpox there in 1917. The following year, the family moved to nearby Jack’s Cabin, (which her notes record as Jack’O Cabin Valley). I don’t know if the intention was to protect the family by moving to an isolated area in the county, or if her father was simply following an offer of work on Jim Spann’s farm. My grandmother was 10 years old and may not have even been aware of the pandemic, in spite of the Spann family being quarantined after they visited Denver for Thanksgiving in November 1918. According to the Gunnison County Times, Mrs. Laurel Spann [possibly Bill’s wife] later succumbed, and is thought to be the first flu-related death in Gunnison County that year.

My grandmother, Mildred Carpenter, and Bill Spann at his farm in Jack Cabin Valley, circa 1918-20
(Photo from my family archives)

Gunnison sat at a highway junction and train stop between Denver and other major Colorado cities, which put them at heightened risk [not unlike Seattle, WA being a major port for both air and sea travel]. At a time when many nearby towns suffered consequences through their inaction, Gunnison’s early containment measures via “protective sequestration” resulted in zero deaths during the first wave of the pandemic. The Guardian News, US edition, published an excellent story which you can read here.

Photo credit: The Guardian News, US edition

This article from the Gunnison Country Times recounts that the pandemic hit the US in January 1918, and by October there were 78 deaths in Denver, and 9,000 reported cases throughout Colorado. On October 18th, Gunnison city officials closed schools and churches, and banned both public and private gatherings. On November 1st, they quarantined the entire town, erecting barricades on roads, sequestering visitors, and arresting violators for the next four months. Nearby towns took similar actions but not soon enough. The town of Silverton – thinking it had no cases – took no action at all, and between October – December 1918, suffered 125 deaths and 833 reported cases.

A train and passengers, just east of Gunnison, CO. Photo credit: Gunnison Country Times

As a result of Gunnison’s isolation, deaths and illnesses were minimal and occurred only after a second wave of flu hit, after city officials lifted the quarantine in mid -February 1919. That action resulted in 58 reported cases and only a handful of deaths. Statewide, nearly 8,000 people died out of 49,000 reported cases.

Gunnison served as partial inspiration for the novel The Last Town on Earth” by Thomas Mullen, which coincidentally, is set in my home state of Washington.

My grandmother and her family survived the pandemic, and remained at Jacks Cabin until about 1924, when they moved back to Gunnison so she and her sister could attend high school.

Mildred and Nella Carpenter, from my family archives

Arrived in London…

Well, not me – but a few of my hats – for the London Accessory Show in Chelsea July 16, 2022.

I hope this show was good for other artists and makers. have now removed the link to this show, as every hat that I sent has returned home, some of them arrived crushed. So they will be marked down and added to my Closeout Sale.

Summer Clearance…

Only a few pieces remain for this closeout of one-of-a-kinds, prototypes, and discontinued pieces at 25% – 75% off. I will add more as my gallery recalls continue…

Find your new find at a reduced price!

30th Annual Art Auction at MoNA

The 30th Annual Art Auction at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, WA starts Monday June 6, 2022! Support your local gallery and your favorite artists!

This annual auction is MoNA’s biggest fundraiser of the year. This year’s theme “The Future Is Here!” celebrates the museum’s 41st birthday as they look forward to the next 40+ years…

My contribution to the auction is shown below – handmade from recycled linen, with a band of suzuri textile that I brought back from Istanbul a decade or so ago, and a hand embroidered stylized Turkish tulip on the crown. The hat is adjustable in back via corset lacings and reclaimed metal washers. Click on the arrow in the media player to see a 360 view!

It’s one of many pieces donated by local artists for this great cause.

The preview runs June 6-18 at MoNA. Online silent auction begins June 10, with a live auction on June 17 (both virtual and in person). More details are available on the museum website.

Hand Embroidered and Turkish Inspired Tulip Visor…

Post Script: This hat went for about a third of its retail value, making an exceptionally great deal for the customer who won the bid. Thank you again for supporting the Museum of Northwest Art!

A Timeout …

I’m taking a timeout from hatmaking as I upgrade my technology and web presence.

Here I am with my first Smartphone (which is smarter than me so I’m trying to figure it out), which will allow me to post to Instagram (which I’m also trying to figure out), and Reddit (which is yet another thing I’m trying to figure out). So. Much. Figuring Out To Do…

Instagram will replace Pinterest, which will remain as an archive. Reddit already gives me more traffic than Twitter, although my feed there is not yet hat-oriented – I’m working on that… Find my own version of Everything Everywhere All At Once on my newly revised Contacts Page.

It’s a virtual triumvirate of upgrades, filled with rabbit holes. But Granada ShopCat reached out as if to say: “It’s OK Mom, you’ll find your way eventually.”

A Tribute to the ShopCats

I set creative work aside for the last little while, to spend time with and care for Toledo, my Black ShopCat. His brother Granada and I said goodbye to him last week.

Meet the ShopCats

Toledo and his brother were named after cities I had visited in Spain. Toledo was my doorbell and my protector. He was fascinated by many things, including my ruler and rotary cutter which nearly cost him toes on more than one occasion. He was as inquisitive as any cat I’ve ever owned. He joins Odin, his ancestor ShopCat, as one of the immortal felines on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Make a Statement!

At the turn of 2022 I decided to try my hand at creating art pieces that are not hats. Now you can “Make A Statement” with a piece or two from my new collection, which will range from jewelry to home furnishings, to wearables, perhaps even puppets!

Here are the Statement Pieces I have created so far. The Tea and Coffee Cozies are lined with insulated bags that my groceries are delivered in. All pieces are made from recycled materials and items from my decades-old stash of miscellany. These one-of-a-kinds are now available in my online store under the #StatementPieces tag:

Works “other than hats” are not a new thing for me. The photos below show examples of previous custom works. Some of you may recognize the cushions as knock-offs from my hat designs. The embellished clothing at the bottom of this gallery were from a project I delivered last year.

Make your own Statement with something uniquely handcrafted!

Art is Love : )

A Hatter’s Year: 2021 …

Simply a photo essay of the projects I completed this year. Not all projects were hats…

Shop Art, Shop Local …

Sometimes the best thing I can create as an artist, is traffic for other artists. Find a new favorite maker and give the gift of this holiday season!

Move Over Black Friday, Artists Sunday is November 28

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, is Artists Sunday, the day to shop with local artists, creators, and makers. More than 550 communities and 4,200 artists, makers, and art organizations are participating in the nationwide art-shopping movement, now in its second year. Artists Sunday is sandwiched this weekend between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday® and Cyber Monday. Artists Sunday unites artists and communities across the country, all promoting purchases from local artisans.

A gift of art makes a heartfelt connection with friends and loved ones, while supporting local artists and boosting the local economy. You can shop from a full range of art, hand-crafted items, experiences, and performances that are practical, beautiful and inspiring.

Visit the Artists Sunday Online Directory and search for artists by location and the types of craft.

46th Annual Holiday Show at Brookfield Craft Center

No photo description available.

Give the gift of Craft! You’ll find unique handcrafted gifts while supporting artists in their creative pursuits. I have been a participating artist in this show since 2004.

This sale runs through December 31, 2021 and includes special events for Shop Local Saturday and Artists Sunday. Hours are Mon-Fri: Noon-5PM, Sat: 11AM-5PM, Sun: Noon-4PM. They also have selected items available online.

The photo at left shows one of my hats paired with a silk poncho by Kriska, and a handbag by Loyalty Leather.

Holiday Market at Peters Valley

The HOLIDAY MARKET at Peters Valley started last week and runs through January 31, 2022. Hours are 10AM-6PM daily for in person shopping, with many items available online, including my hats!

I have been a participating artist in this show since 2009.

“There’s nothing like loving the handmade gifts you give!”⠀⠀

Creative Minds Art Gallery

This artist co-op on Orcas Island (WA) is now open for in-person shopping and features a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists. Open every day except Tuesday from 11AM-4 PM, Sunday 11AM-3PM. Find their most recent additions on Facebook. Here are some of my hats & caps that you might find here:

Nature’s Kitchen

Nature’s Kitchen is an organic bakery and health food store located in Yreka, CA. They bake bread, pastries, muffins, and scones which they serve with specialty hot drinks in their cafe, even when the kitchen is not serving lunch. Browse their natural products store with its extensive selection of nutritional supplements and specialty gifts from local artists in their store. Learn more about them on their Facebook page. Here are a few of my caps that you might find there:

I also have a limited selection of hats ready to ship on my Hats Page. Contact me for details if you are interested in one of them. Happy shopping!

#ShopArt – #ShopLocal – #BuyHandmade – #SupportSmallBusiness – #ArtistsSunday

Sensing a Trend …

“I see a red door and I want it painted black…”

from “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones

Black and red, black and grey, black on black. It’s been a trend this year. When customers aren’t ordering blacks and reds, I’m gravitating to that color combination by choice or by habit.

So, here’s a collection of my Gothic color palette from the past few months. Those shown with masks are custom orders that have been shipped. Others are on their way to holiday art shows at Brookfield Gallery, Peters Valley Gallery, and Uncommon Threads — a new (for me) show where you will find me in the Boutique Artist listings.

If you see something here that you might like, give me a shout. I can probably make something similar for you, black and red optional : ) As a reminder, nearly everything you see here has been made from rescued textiles and found objects, with the exception of the two black-on-black hats, whose materials were supplied by my patrons in order to meet their exact specifications.