He’s Stepping In
Hey Everyone, just a quick note from me, Jennifer. Steve is helping me out by writing this month’s newsletter. This is his story and he needs to be the one to share it. Enjoy!
Two months ago I received a nice note from Barbara Bush, a Stave customer and friend for many years, inviting Martha and me to lunch with her and family at Walker’s Point. What a nice surprise! Of course, we accepted! Remember that a year ago Mrs. Bush, with her assistant and 2 Secret Service agents, drove over to Staveland for a tour and lunch with Martha and me. And here we thought that was the pinnacle of our experience. Little did we know it would only get better!
On Monday, August 6th, we drove to Kennebunkport, 3 hours from our home in Norwich, Vermont, to stay with friends. Then on Tuesday, with perfect weather, we arrived at the Bushes Walker’s Point guardhouse at 1:00 sharp. After checking us over and inspecting our driver’s licenses, the guard gave us directions to the main house where Mrs. Bush was waiting for us with her two cute little Maltipoos, Bibi and MiniMe. Mrs. Bush took us into their living room where we chatted with her, President Bush, and several others. After visiting for a bit we enjoyed a delicious lobster salad lunch. Following lunch, Mrs. Bush took us on a tour of Walker’s Point in her golf cart, entertaining us with wonderful tales. We felt very special and honored to be welcomed so warmly.
Time flew and a little after we exchanged gifts with Mrs. Bush and departed. As you can imagine, the whole experiencewas mind-boggling and surreal. We pinched ourselves as we drove away, smiling all the way back to Norwich.
Becky, one of our Super-Duper crafters, waltzed into my office showing off her latest creations… a one-of-a-kind Stave Puzzles shirt. She cut out the plastic pieces, stuck them on the green shirt, and then lightly sprayed the shirt with bleach. How creative is that!
OK, I was trying to be funny … BUT here’s Bri having her baby shower in Staveland last week. She’s due in 3 months. She is one of our Whiz-Bang graphics experts.
Check out Wanita’s awesome work! Last year she presented our Chief-Tormentor, Steve, with this cute little jester. Appropriate for him, don’t you think?! He’s made of Polymer clay which she shaped into the various parts, put together and then baked in the oven. I’m amazed at how she managed to get his hat just so. From the silly expression on the face down to the purple and red shoes and the Jack-in-the-box he’s holding- he’s the perfect little jester!
Wanita’s most recent project is this beautiful angel. She saw a photo of something similar and thought, “I bet I can do that.” And did she!
It took several weeks to get things just how she wanted them and she ended up making the dress 3 times. After struggling with getting the folds in the dress just right, it occurred to Wanita that she could use her daughter’s wedding dress to help her. Wanita’s youngest daughter, Gail, was recently married so the dress came in handy for reference.
The Polymer clay comes in many different colors so Wanita didn’t have to add any paint to it. However, she did have to paint the eyelashes and add a bit of color to the cheekbones. The brush she used must have been tiny!
Here’s what Wanita has to say about her angel:
I love the wings! The smallest breath of air will make them move. I also liked using the different textures. The warmth of the grain in the wood, the smoothness of the clay, and of course, the softness of the wings.
I did have a picture to reference as I worked and I try to get the figures to look sort of like it, but at some point it just becomes your own and you change things, like the dress. As much as I loved the image on the page I liked the freedom of being able to adapt it to my liking.
I have lots of other pieces I would like to make, but geez, there are soooo many other projects to get done, as well. Like creating another puzzle for you all!
As one might expect from a company that creates handcrafted wooden jigsaw puzzles, Stave is filled with people who are overflowing with creativity. They just have to be doing something with their hands at all times. So in addition to the wonderful work they do here at Stave, they draw and paint, make pottery and quilts, and make wood carvings and chainsaw creations, to name just a few!
Monica, an accomplished seamstress and puzzle cutter extraordinaire, is just one of our crafty people. She’s headed to a wedding this weekend in Philadelphia and she’s made the neatest gift to present to the bride and groom. Monnie has created the Gieg-Wright Family coat of arms!
After creating the shield from the same wood we use to craft our puzzles, Monnie had to decide how to adorn it. She chose a fox to represent the bride, Daylen, because she’s ‘one foxy lady’. Jason, a loving owner of fat cats throughout life, is represented by this prime example of a plump feline.
Jason, a 3D animator and general computer geek is also represented by the motherboards, fashioned into the smaller shield between the fox and cat. Daylen, a Steampunk fashion enthusiast, is represented by the gears. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Steam punk is a genre that originated during the 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternative history and speculative fiction. It involves a setting where steam power is widely used. (There’s you’re Learned Something New for today!) Daylen loves Chrysanthemums, so Monnie designed a big Mum for the top of the shield and Jason is into Ninjas so he’s represented by a throwing star at the base of the shilled.
When Monnie asked the bride what their motto would be, she exclaimed, “Your Face!” (you gotta say it with some sass and attitude). This (or thine features) is loosely translated in Latin to Taum Faciem.
Isn’t this just amazing?!! The pot of creativity is overflowing here at Stave and I’m determined to share more faces and talents with you in the near future.