Monday, January 25


Suddenly it is late last night and I realized I had nothing for you, my readers. I spent a very lazy, I don’t feel good weekend. I tried to convince myself that I felt okay, but by yesterday it was apparent I was just not feeling well. I think it was a case of feeling sorry for myself, fighting a bug of some sort of and the realization that it has been months since I have been well…well! I don’t often let the fact that I have chronic illness slow me down. For the most part I just “buck up” as my mother so often used to tell me when I was little. But this weekend I didn’t buck up. I bawled and pretty much felt sorry for myself for two days, yesterday being the worst. Poor pathetic me- with broken feet and Crohn’s disease. Poor me- my high needs (aspergers and adhd) boy in a full leg cast. Why my dog fighting for her life two weekends in a row?. Why Lord Why. All I could come up with mama also said “it is what it is and it ain’t what it ain’t”! and lately it just “ain’t” been real fun.

Maybe it’s all the talk about mama, maybe it is all the harping I did this weekend I don’t know but I want to bring you the talents of Lois Schlueter from GlissKnits. Lois over at Glisknits is one of those multi talented wonder women. I came across Lois by mention of her daughter. Her daughter is curator of The Paper Button, remember the story? Kari, who was doing extraordinary things with ordinary buttons? Anyways, I am thinking apples don’t fall far from trees (another thing I always heard my mother say) So without much more rambling I bring you…


Lois has always been the creative type in all aspects of the word. She regaled me in her interview with the tale of her parents getting her a “craft of the month” kit when she was little girl. She thought perhaps it was to keep her occupied and out of her hair. As a mother of two active ones myself, the idea instantly piqued my interest and had me sniggering. She also talked about piano lessons at an early age that eventually led to harp playing. Another interest piquing moment as I have always loved the harp. Lois doesn’t just play to play. She donates her time and talent at local hospitals as passive therapy. How cool is that? I love when talents transverse from one to another, and land both the giver and receiver in a better place. Art has a way of doing that thought and I think that is why so many are drawn to the arts and why the arts need to more the focal point in so many lives. Avenues like Artifre and Etsy I think are going to be a huge part of bringing more of the arts to more of the people.

Lois has a shop on Etsy, Glissknits. I am sure by the name you have already guessed, Knits. But did you know she is a self professed “knit-wit”? And will often show up to Harp gigs wearing, what else, something knitted? I loved Lois’s wit!! Now is she a nitwits, I don’t think so but witty for sure. Her answers were full of insight sprinkled with a bit of clowning making it the perfect mix. When asked about her creative space the dedication to knitting showed through in her answer of “My creative space is all over the house. You will find a knitting project, yarn or knitting book/magazine in just about every living space -much to the dismay of my family:)”

Speaking of family, like most mothers Lois was not shy when it came to speaking of her daughters and the wonderful talents thereof. I asked what role her family played I was not surprised by what followed. “OH, my goodness, where do I start, ...I came from a musical family who loved the arts. I married an architect and my girls married musicians who are also talented artists. My older daughter, Jessica, is a violinist/singer and will deliver our first grandchild in April. Kari owns The Paper Button on etsy and will finish up her art major at Northern IL U this year. Both girls married wonderful brothers Nathan and Jordan McDonald, and they are all involved in their band Starlite Radio. check it out there music and cd:)” And of course she had to pitch the boys, like any self respecting mother would!

But so much more than a mother, Lois has a great history in the arts and has always been involved with the focus on her knitting. She taught herself the pearl stitch when she was in her early twenties and leg warmers were one of her very first projects. Again her wit shined through when she giggled about how they might “date” her. She has come a very long way from leg-warmers! I have had so many “offers” of people to feature on the blog. You know, friends and family making suggestions. So when Kari her daughter made the suggestion I peeked at her mom’s store I did so with much trepidation WOW though, the things she is doing with fiber!

I was instantly captured by the felted bangle picuted above- with the silver embellishments. I had never seen such things done with fiber. The one pictured is just one of several in her store. They are absolutely stunning. Just look at those? As I scrolled a little further down the page I came across the “shooting Star’ sweater. It is absolutely stunning. The texture the colors the placement of the flower. Everything about her work screams “ARTIST” and not little granny knitter. Lois has a definite artist eye and the way she plays color and texture is nothing short of sheer gifted talent. Trust me I have seen all kinds of fiber “arts” since I began this blog and I have learned all that GLISS-ens is not gold, but over there at GlissKnits you will defiantly strike gold!

To catch some of her items locally you can find them at the same show her daughter is doing Cinnamon and Cider in Rockford, Illinois this coming fall. Her work though has also graced an art gallery in the Lake Geneva, area of Wisconsin and a specialty shot Privileges in Rockford. You should definitely look her up because as Lois says about buying handmade “So much of what we have now is massed produced. It's so refreshing to purchase and sell items that are one of kind. It’s a benefit to the individuality of the buyer and an encouragement to the seller, both artistically and economically!”

And really guys You have to listen to mama! I think the best thing I can give you of Lois was her response to the question of the best advice to other artists “Learn everything you can about what you do, make it your own, and pursue the most professional result...and never stop learning! I have found that that gives you confidence in sharing and selling what you love.”

So whatever your talent, be it painting, drawing, fiber, “junking”, beeswax, pursue it, share it. Live your talent. Let it become a part of what makes you, you. Don’t hide it away. Share it at hospitals and nursing homes, sell it at stores and online , markets and galleries, but make sure it is available. When finally it is a part of you, when it finally is who you are it will be as Lois said about her knitting- “therapy”.

I can say this with clarity because like my painting, writing is one of those things I have always loved to do. And now after writing I am no longer the poor pathetic woe is me soul that started this post. I am ready to go, ready to hobble to the studio with my silly little casts, ready for…well…some therapy!

1 comment:

  1. Very Beautifully written! I love your self-realization at the end... hit that spot in the heart =]