Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Hometown Wellman IA "A Town That Cares"





I am a country gal at heart.  Born and raised in a small farming community with the big city to the north I had the best of both worlds.  The rural community and the small towns of Wellman and Kalona  formed my childhood years while just to the north a busy bustling college town would take me through my working years.    The quiet but busy farmland community where we would ride our bikes up and down the gravel roads finding new adventures each day to the small towns  where we would hop in our cars and "cruise the loop".  
Our small farming community was filled with many children.  Our days were filled with riding bikes, building tree houses, sledding and skating. One never knew what each new day would bring.  The days were never long enough to get it all done. As we grew the area changed.  Farmers retired. Technology took over...farming was only for a few.  Now this little community is filled with rental homes as fewer and fewer decide to till the land.  We no longer know the person down the road.  There are very few of us left from the old days....this little spot will evolve into a different community writing it's own history.


     Wellman is named for Joseph Edward Wellman, who in July, 1879 provided 40 acres of his farmland.  A busy railroad town in its early years it is now a retirement town for many farmers who have left the fields  I will always remember Maplecrest Turkey Farms. Long the largest independent turkey-processing corporation in the world.  Both of my maternal grandparents worked there when I was a young girl so we had many trips  to see the young birds.  In the end they fell upon hard economic times and closed. 


   The  Amish settlement in what is now the Kalona area began in the 1840s, placing the Amish among the very first European settlers in the region. Ours is a very religious community.  We went to school with the Amish, Conservatives, Mennonites, Catholics....and all the orders in between.  The arts and crafts of these people is a draw for the tourism  that now supports the city.





Iowa City is the town of my adult years. The University of Iowa with it's 11 colleges is also home to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics  one of the largest university-owned teaching hospitals in the nation.   As I drive past the hospital, past the football stadium, past the basketball arena to the Dental College where I work I think how lucky I am to call this place my home.  The wealth of knowledge, artistry and craftsmanship  that surrounds me each day is amazing.


These pictures are from the web



   Now our lives are filled with technical media.  We can ignore or embrace what the WWW has to offer.   I embrace this awesome media that allows friendships to form through a few written words.  Julie and I met through blogging...finding each other and commenting on posts has led to a wonderful friendship.  Julie is an artisan of quilting.  Her love of fabric and colors shines through her work....from the  miniature charms to the quilts it is a feast for your eyes.  I can't forget to mention our love of our fur babies...our special helpers.
My jewelry comes from  the melding of the two worlds....my country grandmother with her quilting frame in her living room to my city grandmother who gathered with friends at her church to make these many colorful pieces of material into works of art.  Now a computer friend continues this art.



Julie's artistry


 
 
 
please take a moment and visit Julie at
 
 
 
 
 
Now onto the design!
 
I couldn't find my black beads that I planned to use....so came up with a new design!
 
 

 
  And these pieces all come together.....
 

 
 
Thank you Julie for your lovely work of art!
 
Thank you Erin for giving us a chance to travel once again~ 
Now go visit all the other lovely artisans!
Challenge of  Travel













22 comments:

  1. Kim...
    Sentimental history...it is what makes our life richer. Weaving the past into the present.

    Lovely words, pictures & artistry!
    Kari

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  2. Absolutely gorgeous necklace and your blog is wonderful!

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  3. You truly DO have the best of all worlds, Kim. I adore any fiber in jewelry and Julie's mini quilts are superb... your design is a beautiful tribute to the eclectic mix of cultures that defines your region!

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  4. What a great place you live in Kim! What a lovely way to pay tribute to your history with the focal in your necklace. Just beautiful!

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  5. Oh I so love your necklace! It has the softness of the focal against the metal. And such wonderful patterns.

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  6. What a wonderful walk through your town - thank you for sharing! I love those pendants and the piece you created is beautiful - love it!

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  7. Wow, those pendants are amazing - how unique and original! Thank you for sharing your story of your hometown, Iowa city, and Julie. You've created a stunning piece.

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  8. I could cut and paste your first two paragraphs an post them on my own blog as your words describe the town I have lived in since 1970.

    Your necklace is just lovely. Julie's pendant perfect.

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  9. What. Lovely focal bead. And you have combined it with others really nicely. Loved reading about the inspiration!

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  10. I love your necklace, and Julie's pendants are wonderful. Thanks for sharing; it was a fun trip!

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  11. Kim, the necklace is just stunning. I love Julie's pendant and all the beads you used with it. Your photography is always a treat and it was a delight to see your home town.

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  12. Awww....Love what you did with my pendant! And thanks for such kind words. I don't always love technology, but it's true - it has been a great way to meet new friends. Hope to see you soon!

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  13. Isn't it true that many of us feel the loss or change of the rural way of life. Love your necklace, and how you highlighted Julie's work of art there with many interesting turns and beads. Andrea

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  14. Its so sad that that time and progress changes what was once familiar to us, however I love how you have embraced the art and culture of your community, this never leaves us - beautiful post.

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  15. What a great way to pay tribute to country ways and days gone by.

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  16. Wow, you found the perfect pendant to pay tribute to the crafting traditions of your neighbourhood! Lovely necklace!

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  17. I too live in the countryside and know some of that feeling, though it's not hit as hard here as in many other places. Here it's more about homes being turned into summer cabins, dark and empty as haunted houses nine months of the year only to be used during summer. But then again, change rarely moves in one direction the whole time. Winds change and the future takes a new direction. I'm very hopeful for the future of the countryside, even when the current hipster-ish farm fad is over.

    What a beautiful necklace -- you really complimented that gorgeous quilt pendant beautifully, melding modern jewellery art and style with an old, traditional art/craft!

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  18. What a rich history your are has and now wonderful to have seen it grow and change throughout the years. I love your piece, the textures and fibers work so well together. It really brings your whole story together.

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  19. This is an absolutely wonderful tribute to your area! The Amish are also known for their beautiful quilts. The quiet country lifestyle is one filled with peace and love of the land. You have captured that beautifully! Sorry that it took me so long to get around to all the hometowns. I want to savor every one! Thank you for joining me on the journey! Enjoy the day. Erin

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  20. I love your squiggly round black beads! They are so cool! Love that you brought fiber into your design. Very cool!

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  21. Beautiful necklace! Interesting background on wellman -and great place to grow up ;)

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  22. Loved reading this blog and viewing the beautiful artwork. I can really relate to it as I grew up in a small rural town in New Zealand (pop.600) moved to the city in my late teens. Always felt great discomfort living in towns/cities and a deep nostalgia for the country lifestyle. At 50 I moved back to a tiny bush town when I met and married the love of my life. Two joys at once! My soul mate and living back in a small rural town (pop.900) My art has flourished here too!

    Pearl from Murrurundi, Upper Hunter Valley, AUSTRALIA

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I truly appreciate you taking the time to stop and visit